Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


NZ maintains access to Australian Synchrotron

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Science & Innovation
2 April 2013 Media Statement
NZ maintains access to Australian Synchrotron

New Zealand will continue to invest in the Australian Synchrotron research facility to provide access for New Zealand scientists, says Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

New Zealand will contribute A$5 million over four years towards the operating costs of the Australian Synchrotron, which is the largest piece of scientific infrastructure in the Southern hemisphere. The Synchrotron provides scientists with an intense light that can be used to study the structure and composition of materials.

“This continued investment ensures that New Zealand scientists will get preferential access to leading-edge research technology. Synchrotron science has applications across a wide range of scientific disciplines highly relevant to New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.

“For example, Massey University has used the synchrotron to determine the structural basis for the differing strength of sheep and beef leather. This has the potential to increase returns from the sheep industry by about $150 million per annum.”

“New Zealand’s involvement in the facility is an excellent example of Trans-Tasman cooperation and international scientific collaboration.”

The government and New Zealand research sector previously contributed $6.27 million (A$5m) towards building the facility and over the last five years has contributed $4.39m (A$3.5m) towards its running costs. This investment helped to ensure that New Zealand scientists had preferred access to the facility since it opened.

“Since opening in 2009, the Australian Synchrotron’s performance has been on a par with the best in world, and New Zealand scientists have been making the most of this opportunity. Nearly 20 per cent of the research published in 2011 arising from the use of the Australian Synchrotron was based on New Zealand-led research.”

The government will contribute up to 53 per cent ($2.95m) of New Zealand’s operational funding committed for the three-year period from July 2013, with the remainder coming from shareholders of the New Zealand Synchrotron Group, who are all New Zealand research organisations.


New Zealand’s investment in the Australian Synchrotron - Q and A

What is a synchrotron?

A synchrotron is a source of highly intense light ranging from infra-red to hard x-rays used for a wide variety of research purposes. Synchrotron science offers a powerful experimental tool to study the structure and composition of materials, with applications across a wide range of scientific disciplines relevant to New Zealand. The Australian Synchrotron adjacent to Monash University in Melbourne is the only southern hemisphere synchrotron facility and is the largest stand-alone piece of scientific infrastructure in the southern hemisphere.

How does this investment compare with our previous investment?
Previously New Zealand invested A$8.5 million to build and operate the facility. Of this amount, A$5 million was contributed towards capital costs (i.e. contribution to designing and constructing the synchrotron). The A$5 million going forward is for operating costs only. This represents an increase of 43% over the total operating contribution paid up to June 2012 of A$3.54 million.

Why are we investing in this facility?

It provides significant benefits to New Zealand researchers and ultimately the New Zealand economy. Synchrotron science offers valuable experimental techniques that appreciably enhance research productivity and outputs in areas that are highly relevant to New Zealand.

There are already a number of potential commercial opportunities that are being developed as a result of the work undertaken by New Zealand researchers at the Australian Synchrotron.

What are the benefits to date?

Since commencing full operations in 2009 the Australian Synchrotron’s performance has been on a par with the best in the world.

Other examples of projects which have benefited from the facility include:
• Callaghan Innovation (previously Industrial Research Ltd) has undertaken work to analyse mechanisms to control corrosion of pipelines. The work involves collaboration with business and has significant potential to prevent costly oil and gas pipeline corrosion failure.
• Victoria University has determined the crystalline phases of nanoparticles of precious metals chemically bound to the surface of natural and synthetic fibres. This work has the potential to change the properties of textiles and plastics.
• The University of Auckland has used the synchrotron to determine the structures of pili proteins in bacteria responsible for a range of diseases. The findings have results in high impact publications and new international collaborations. In future these findings may be useful for those developing new drugs and vaccines.

What is the NZ Synchrotron Group (NZSG)?

The NZSG is a company which was formed to provide the vehicle for New Zealand’s participation in the Australian Synchrotron. A wide range of New Zealand research institutions are shareholders in the NZSG, and are contributing to the new operational investment in the Australian Synchrotron.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news