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Fulbright investment focused in growth sectors

Fulbright investment focused in growth sectors

Doubling the number of Fulbright Scholarships is a step forward in the government's efforts to support the future leaders of New Zealand science, Research, Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Budget 2005 provides $2.4 million over four years to create ten additional Fulbright Scholarships in areas that are crucial to New Zealand's future economic growth, such as biotechnology and information technology.

Speaking at an event to mark 100 years since the birth of Senator J William Fulbright – who founded the Fulbright programme in 1948 – Steve Maharey said more work needs to be done to foster leadership in New Zealand's research community.

"New Zealand has a world-class science and research community," Steve Maharey said. "One of the consequences of our success is that we are rapidly developing capabilities in a number of new areas including biotech and IT.

"We need to think proactively about who will provide leadership and expertise as these fields move from emerging areas to key strengths of the New Zealand science system. That's the only way to achieve sustainable progress."

Steve Maharey said educational exchange programmes like Fulbright are a highly effective way to support talented young New Zealand scientists and to promote New Zealand's unique contribution to international research.

"Helping top New Zealand students to study in some of America's best universities will sharpen their skills and knowledge and will give them valuable perspective into the specific contributions our scientists can make.

"Having some of our best and brightest promoting our science community overseas will help develop important relationships between the American and New Zealand research sectors. This exchange of information and ideas will be a vital asset as New Zealand's knowledge industries work to succeed in a competitive global market."

Contact: Daniel Lambert, Press Secretary, (04) 471 9154 or (021) 270 9115, email: Daniel.Lambert@parliament.govt.nz, www.beehive.govt.nz/maharey

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