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Bayer Honours New Zealand’s Leading Innovators

Bayer Honours New Zealand’s Leading Innovators

Auckland, Friday August 28 - Five of New Zealand’s leading lights have been acknowledged for their contributions to innovation at the 2009 Bayer Innovators Awards.

The Bayer Innovators Awards are designed to identify the country’s best and brightest innovators and this year’s winners are representatives from the science, commerce and agricultural sectors.

Winners were presented with their awards by the Minister for Research, Science and Technology, the Hon. Dr Wayne Mapp and Bayer Senior Country Representative Hans-Dieter Hausner.

Awards categories and winners are as follows:

Science and Health: Dr Brian Ward, founder and chief executive of Mesynthes Ltd. A medical device company, Mesynthes develops and manufactures speciality devices for wound healing and tissue reconstruction.

Design and Engineering: Rod Walker, executive director and head of research and development at Simcro Animal Health Delivery Systems. The company specialises in manufacturing customised animal drug delivery systems for the pharmaceutical industry.

Agriculture and the Environment: Professor Richard Warrick, founding director and chairman of the board of Climsystems Ltd. The company designs, develops, and markets advanced, user-friendly software systems for assessing climate variability and change.

Information Technology and Communications: Patrick Costigan, founder of Motorweb and chairman of the New Zealand Inventors Trust. Motorweb is a web-based e-government system which facilitates motor industry transactions with government departments while improving consumer protection and reducing legal compliance costs.

Research and Development: Professor Jim Johnston, Professor of Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Physical Sciences, at Victoria University of Wellington. Professor Johnston is internationally recognised for his research and development of new innovative nanotechnology materials and chemical process technology platforms.

Hans-Dieter Hausner, said it was important to acknowledge not only innovation, but the people leading these endeavours in New Zealand.

“I firmly believe that innovation is vitally important to business success, not only for individual companies, but also for countries as a whole.

“Behind every great creative advancement, there is an individual – an innovator, and it is those people that we recognised through the Bayer Innovators Awards.”

Mr Hausner added that Bayer had increased its research and development spending to the equivalent of approximately 6.2 billion New Zealand dollars, the largest amount in Bayer’s history.

“This investment is designed to drive our growth and create innovations that hold potential for the future, thereby safeguarding jobs and prosperity – even if the fruits of these efforts will not be evident for many years.”

The Hon. Dr Wayne Mapp acknowledged Bayer’s contribution to innovation and its support of the Awards.

“Bayer has a long history of successful products in New Zealand in healthcare, agribusiness and high-tech materials. It’s also a very important global player in research and development, investing more than six billion New Zealand dollars globally last year,” he said.

“This is a significant figure financially, and it very clearly marks Bayer’s serious commitment to research-led innovation. The commitment is also, of course, strongly reflected in the Innovators Awards that Bayer has established in New Zealand.”

Held annually, the Bayer Innovators Awards are now in their third year. For further information on the winners and other finalists, visit


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