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NZ bioscience looks to Asia for bright future

Media release February 26 2013

NZ bioscience looks to Asia for bright future

New Zealand bioscience is focusing on Asia, with a firm eye on opportunities in China.

Professor Zhong Yang, Dean of the Graduate School of Fudan University in Shanghai, is to be one of the key note speakers at the sector’s annual conference being held in Auckland March 18 - 20. He will speak on bioscience trends in China and the opportunities for collaborative work.

Professor Zhong studied in the fields of molecular evolution of plants, bioinformatics and analysis and computer simulation of systems biology. More recently he has focused on China’s medium and long-term technology development plans as well as contemporary issues on energy saving and emission reduction, development of renewable energy and its energy economy strategy.

Professor Zhong will be immediately followed by Dr Janette Dixon, who will share her views on how New Zealand’s bioscience companies can leverage Asia. Dr Dixon is senior vice president of QRxPharma, which is focused on the development and commercialisation in 2013 of new treatments for pain management and central nervous system disorders.

The “Go Asia” theme is continued throughout the three day conference. Dr Paul Tan, chair of NZBIO, says the theme complements New Zealand’s trade focus and agreements, as well as the rapid development of the bioscience sector throughout Asia.

“Whereas the New Zealand bioscience sector once looked mostly to the United States and Europe, and to some extent Singapore, for funding and commercialisation opportunities, both the global financial crisis and the rapid growth of markets throughout Asia has meant it has become prudent to look more broadly throughout Asia,” Dr Tan says.

NZBIO is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and chief executive Dr George Slim says while the successes will be celebrated and the difficult moments and failures will be remembered, the sector is optimistic about its future.

“From agbiotech to pharma, from biologics to therapeutics and from biofuel to diagnostics, more than 300 delegates from around the world will get a chance to consider how to drive the success of bioenterprise in New Zealand,” Dr Slim says.

The conference will conclude with a forum that considers that challenge for the future.

Ends


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