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NZ flies Science and Technology flag in Europe

2 March 2004
For immediate release

New Zealand flies
Science and Technology flag in Europe

New Zealand science, research and technology links with the European Community will be enhanced by the arrival of a dedicated Science and Technology Counsellor in Brussels next month.

Melae Langbein, who has a Master of Management Studies in Technology and a Bachelor of Science, leaves New Zealand in early April to take up the new position.

“I am passionate about New Zealand’s ability to create wealth through science and technology,” she said. “To do so requires combining world-class science with business excellence and a global focus. I’m really excited to be able to facilitate the relationships required to achieve this.”

Until her appointment as Counsellor, Ms Langbein was involved in business development roles with Crown Research Institutes, most recently with HortResearch in Auckland.

Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, Dr Helen Anderson, said the new counsellor position would provide scientific and economic benefit to New Zealand by developing research linkages with the European Commission and European Union (EU) Member States.

“Melae’s appointment is a real shot in the arm for our R, S &T sector. Her presence in Europe will maximise opportunities for New Zealand researchers and research and technology-based businesses to collaborate with their EU counterparts.”

Dr Anderson said that the position would also help enhance key relationships within the EU’s research and innovation sectors and help ensure that Kiwi researchers and businesses are aware of, and gain access to, funding opportunities through the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Directorates.

“There’s tremendous potential for our sector to benefit from this. We realise we’re a long way from Europe, so having someone on their doorstep will help cement relationships and increase opportunities for all sorts of joint venture possibilities,” Dr Anderson said.

The Science and Technology Counsellor will be a member of the diplomatic staff of the New Zealand Mission to the EU, with an office located within the Mission premises in Brussels.

The Counsellor will be responsible to the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.


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