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NZ becomes partner in Australian Synchrotron

20 June 2006

NZ becomes partner in Australian Synchrotron

New Zealand has become an official partner in the Australian Synchrotron, a stadium-sized scientific tool that creates beams of intense light, used for investigating molecular structures.

Research, Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey says the New Zealand government will contribute AU$5 million towards the Melbourne-based project, which is due to open in 2007.

"The synchrotron will be an essential tool for generating new knowledge and ensuring New Zealand remains globally competitive across a range of science areas," Steve Maharey said.

"As a foundation partner, New Zealand scientists will have access to a pool of time set aside for those contributing capital to the project and the opportunity to develop world-leading technical capability."

"Synchrotrons are an increasingly important tool for industrial and academic research in almost all areas of science, including drug and vaccine design, medical imaging, agribusiness, forensics and environmental science. It is vital that our scientists have access to this technology"

Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, John Brumby, welcomed New Zealand's investment in the Australian Synchrotron’s 9 initial beamlines.

“The synchrotron project will further promote scientific collaboration between Australia and New Zealand, and open up opportunities for co-operation and collaboration with Asia,” Mr Brumby said.

“The Australian Synchrotron will be a national and regional ideas factory, bringing together the brightest and best scientists across the whole range of research disciplines.”

Mr Brumby applauded the active role New Zealanders had taken in developing the Australian Synchrotron.

“New Zealand is represented on our National Scientific Advisory Committee and on panels of scientists helping to design the beamlines that will provide the platform for groundbreaking R&D."

The team constructing the Synchrotron includes New Zealand scientists and engineers. NZ company CMS Alphatech/Buckley Systems, based in Auckland, also won the contract to supply the Synchrotron’s large high-precision magnets.

For more details on the Australian Synchrotron visit www.synchrotron.vic.gov.au


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