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 Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics.

Can the two surviving Maori Party MPs (one electorate, one list) credibly work together with the old firebrand who split up the group years ago, and still hope to rekindle some of that same old magic? More>>

 

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news