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Funding endorsement for leading science organisation

Funding endorsement for leading science organisation

Continued funding of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Material and Nanotechnology, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington, is confirmation of the contribution the Institute is making to New Zealand’s economic future says Director, Professor Kate McGrath.

The Institute is one of six Centres for Research Excellence (COREs) which the Tertiary Education Commission today announced will receive funding of just under $210 million over six years from January 2015.

The MacDiarmid Institute is a national network of seven organisations—five universities, one crown research institute and Callaghan Innovation—bringing together researchers who develop and apply cutting-edge techniques in physics, chemistry and engineering and partner with business to take innovative new technologies to export markets.

Named after Alan MacDiarmid, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000, the MacDiarmid Institute was one of New Zealand’s first COREs.

Professor McGrath says today’s funding announcement is an endorsement of the vision and plans the MacDiarmid Institute is implementing to deliver growth and value to New Zealand’s economically-important high-value manufacturing sector.

She says the Institute is also making a significant contribution to mentoring emerging entrepreneurial scientists and training the next generation of science teachers who can motivate young New Zealanders to pursue science-based careers.

“Our focus is on delivering excellent research and education, inspiring New Zealanders, training New Zealand’s future leaders and advancing this country’s future. Continued support for our work shows we are on track to progress this programme.”

Professor Mike Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Science at Victoria University, welcomed the funding announcement and says Victoria is proud to host a world-leading Institute which includes many of New Zealand’s top materials scientists.

The MacDiarmid Institute has 36 Principal Investigators who come from Victoria University, the University of Canterbury, Massey University, the University of Otago and the Institute for Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

“The continuation of funding is fantastic news for the Institute and for the University. It is testament to the capability built up at the MacDiarmid Institute and I congratulate Professor McGrath and her team for their achievements,” says Professor Wilson.

Professor McGrath is a recipient of medals from the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry and the New Zealand Association of Scientists, winner of the Wellington Gold Inspire Award in 2013 and current Chair of the Association of Centres of Research Excellence.

She says the Institute can now forge ahead with its extensive programme of work which includes some major new initiatives in the area of materials science.

The Institute is a founding partner in the national materials network led by Callaghan Innovation which is focused on harnessing scientific capability across New Zealand to deliver growth and prosperity.


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