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Science New Zealand welcomes science fund announce




11 March 2008                                                                     For immediate release

Science New Zealand welcomes science fund announcement: urges transformational work as well as incremental

“Today’s announcement by Government that it is establishing a fund potentially worth up to $2 billion, with private sector contributions included, over the next ten to fifteen years is wonderful news for New Zealand” says Anthony Scott, chief executive of Science New Zealand.

“This is about more than science research – it is a clear recognition of what other economies have known for decades: that big investment into RS&T around the needs of a nation, underpins economic, environmental and social welfare.

“More than $26 billion of exports last year came from the primary sector – more than 66 per cent of merchandise exports.  Tourism – which is also heavily dependent upon our natural environment – is worth another $18.6 billion.

“This fund recognises that New Zealand’s leadership in areas the country relies upon to sustain its wealth and well-being, cannot be taken for granted. 

“The involvement of industry is vital, both as a conduit taking science from the lab to the application; and as partners in identifying what needs to be done. 

“Equally vital is ensuring that there is scope to step outside current thinking and ways of doing things, to see where transformational change can occur. 

“This fund should allow for both incremental improvements in products and processes, and for the big steps - the changes which come from risk-taking science and imaginative business thinking.

“New Zealand has done this before in our history; this bold step should give freedom to do it again, just when we need it so much.

“There is a lot of detail yet to come.  The Crown Research Institutes, which have the task of taking science from ideas through to results for New Zealand benefit, are keen to make their contribution.”



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