Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

The Biotechnology Taskforce Today


The Biotechnology Taskforce Today (Tuesday, 6 May) Presented The Government With A 28-Point Action Plan For The Commercialisation Of Biotechnology In New Zealand And The Development Of “Critical Mass” For The Sector.

Taskforce Chairman Bill Falconer Said The Taskforce Believed New Zealand, With Its Excellent History In Biological Science Was Well Placed To Participate In The Biotechnology Revolution.

“We Already Have A Recognised Place On The Global Biotechnology Stage With A Capability In Biotechnology Across A Wide Spectrum Of Applications,” He Said.

The Taskforce’s Report, Growing The Biotechnology Sector In New Zealand – A Framework For Action, Sets Priorities And Presents An Action Plan To Stimulate The Economic Growth And The International Competitiveness Of New Zealand’s Biotechnology Sector.

Mr Falconer Said The Action Plan Was For Both The Biotechnology Sector And Government To Implement.

He Said New Zealand Has Strength And Depth In Large Animal Biotechnology – In Particular In Sheep And Dairy Cows – Arising Out Of The Country’s World-Leading Farms. “Our Biological Knowhow Has Been The Mainstay Of The Economy.

“This Expertise Is Now Beginning To Translate Into Biomedicine And Biopharmaceutical Initiatives, Improved Productivity In Our Primary Industries Through Bioprocessing And Biomanufacturing Techniques, The Development Of New Nutritional And Health Products, And The Utilisation Of Plant-Based Technologies For The Repair Of Environmental Damage.

“We Need To Build On Our Existing Strengths,” Mr Falconer Said.

“This Country Has An Enormous Opportunity To Leverage Off The Biotechnology Sector, And Build On The Unique Synergy Between The Biotechnology And Primary Sectors, To Achieve Its Economic Goals.”

The Taskforce’s Vision Is To Ensure That, Within The Next 10 Years, Biotechnology Will Help Lift New Zealand Into The Top Of Half Of Oecd Countries In Terms Of Per Capita Gdp And “Elevate New Zealand’s Position Of Excellence In Innovation, Commercialisation And Business Practice”.

The Government Appointed The Biotechnology Taskforce In 2002 To Give A Private Sector Focus To The Development Of A Specific Strategy For The Commercialisation Of Biotechnology. Its Members Are Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders And Academics.

The Government Is Now Considering The Taskforce’s Report.

The Taskforce Set Four 10-Year Targets: Tripling In The Size Of The New Zealand Biotechnology Community To Over 1,000 Organisations From 350; Increasing Total Cluster Employment To Over 18,000, From Around 3,900; Increasing 5-Fold The Number Of Core Biotechnology Companies To Over 200 From 40; And Improving Performance From Both Research Organisations And Private Companies, Resulting In Increased Export Values From The Current Base Of $250 Million To Over $1 Billion Per Annum.

Mr Falconer Said The Taskforce Had Identified People, Funding, Institutions, Infrastructure, Regulations And Global Participation As Areas That Needed Attention If The Biotechnology Sector Was To Achieve These Targets:

Key Recommendations Include:

People Develop A Programme To Annually Recruit And Repatriate Key Scientists And Entrepreneurs With The Skills And Experience To Establish New And Innovative Research Labs.

Funding That Industry And Government Establish A $200 Million Horizontal Biotechnology Investment Fund Which Will Be Available To Provide Support For The Commercialisation Of Biotechnology Initiatives Through The Long Lead Times Between Proof Of Concept And The Generation Of Revenues From Manufacturing And Sale; And Which Will Provide A Focus For The Attraction Of Overseas Capital.

Infrastructure That Industry Consolidates Its Present Networks To Create One Strong Biotechnology Industry Body With The Task Of Facilitating And Enhancing The Development Of Biotechnology Clusters In The Major Research Centres, And Establishing New Zealand’s Biotechnology Capability Internationally.

Regulations That Support The Sector Review The Hazardous Substances And New Organisms (Hsno) Act To Ensure New Zealand’s Regulatory Environment Is Efficiently Administered And Internationally Competitive.

Global Participation Develop A Dedicated Programme To Establish International Biotechnology Partnerships Drawing Value From The Unique Strengths That New Zealand Has To Offer (E.G. Our Primary Sector Heritage And Application Of Modern Biotechnology).

Mr Falconer Said The Taskforce Was Not Seeking A Lowering Of Biosecurity Standards. “We Want International Excellence. For The Sector To Grow, We Need A Gold Standard Environment.

“Research And Development Work Also Needs To Be Carried Out In Partnership, And With The Support Of The Community.”

Editor’s Notes For More Information On The Taskforce, And To Download An Electronic Copy Of The Taskforce Report, Visit http://WWW.INDUSTRYTASKFORCES.GOVT.NZ For Information On The Nz Biotechnology Sector Visit http://WWW.BIOSPHERENZ.COM For A Copy Of The Report, Call 0800 224 480 Taskforce Membership: Bill Falconer - Chairman Biotenz Inc, Meat Industry Council, Hellaby Holdings, Kiwifruit International, Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards And Restaurant Brands; And Director Biologics Ltd. Professor Garth Cooper - Professor In Biochemistry & Clinical Biochemistry, School Of Biological Sciences, Faculty Of Science And Department Of Medicine, Faculty Of Medical And Health Sciences, University Of Auckland.

Michael J Harrington - General Manager, Eli Lilly And Company (Nz) Limited; And Vice-Chairman, Board Of The Researched Medicines Industry. Professor Diana Hill - Chief Executive, Global Technologies (Nz) Ltd. Elizabeth Hopkins - Chief Development Officer, Neuronz. Dr Claire Mcgowan - Director - Biotechnology, Northington Partners. James Mclean - Executive Director, Genesis Research And Development Corporation Limited. Bruce Munro - Chairman, New Zealand Wool Board And Director, Gallagher Group Limited. Ray Potroz - National Secretary, New Zealand Dairy Workers Union; And Member World Executive, Geneva-Based International Union Of Food Workers. Paul Tocker - Chief Executive, Crop And Food Research; And President Of Association Of Crown Research Institutes. Dr Max Shepherd - Executive Director, Zenith Technology Corporation Ltd; Chairman Botryzen Limited And Pharmazen Limited; And Director, Blis Technologies Limited.

The Taskforce Was Convened By The Minister Of Research, Science And Technology, Hon. Pete Hodgson.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election