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New Industries For NZ

Foundation For Science Research And Technology Release

Vaccines to prevent Alzheimers disease and asthma. A new generation in communications technology. Smaller, smarter electronics. And innovative electronic-based learning techniques. These are just a few of the research projects to receive funding today from the Government’s New Economy Research Fund (NERF).

According to the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, which manages NERF, these projects could generate massive returns to the country. Chief Executive Steve Thompson said the new fund was set up specifically to support research which underpins new high technology business opportunities.

“We hope that in four or five years, this investment will lead to start-up companies in new technologies and new industries. By targeting research in these areas, we will help develop the knowledge, skills and innovations needed to build new or emerging RS&T intensive sectors in New Zealand,” Dr Thompson said.

“We also hope to make the business community more aware that developing and applying this knowledge will make them more competitive.”

James Buwalda, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology said the new fund is giving scientists the space to be more creative.

“A key finding of the Foresight Project was that researchers needed more space to be creative if we, as a nation, are going to grow new high value industries to drive higher economic growth,” Dr Buwalda said.

“NERF unleashes the creativity of scientists to do some out-of-the box thinking about how tomorrow’s wealth will be created differently from today’s. It will generate new ideas as the basis for new industries and for R&D intensive industries emerging from existing sectors. The potential for creative leaps is exciting,”

The Foundation received more than 200 applications for funding from NERF, requesting some $100 million. Just over $11 million was available but it’s now being invested in work which should see substantial returns to our economy.

For further information:

Patricia Donovan, Communications Manager, FRST

Telephone (04) 498 7809 or 025 226 4136

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