Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Scion wins "Biotechnology of the Year" award

Media release: September 15 2016

Solving sticky problem earns big bio kudos
Auckland New Zealand September 15 2016: Scientists at Scion have solved a growing environmental problem for wood panel manufacturers.

Warren Grigsby and his team have developed the world’s first wood panel resins (glue) using biobased ingredients.

That solution has earned the team the “Biotechnology of the Year” award at NZBIO’s annual conference in Auckland.

When Scion, the Crown Research Institute that specialises in science around forestry, wood products and bio materials, learned the level of formaldehyde emissions from wood panels were being regulated lower in countries like Japan, the United States and in the European Union, with New Zealand following suit, it looked to biotechnology to find ways of reducing the emissions.

Wood panel resins (glues) are traditionally made with formaldehyde and urea or phenol from petroleum based precursors. The Scion team developed a biobased resin replacement that gives off less formaldehyde emissions than natural wood.

Trademarked and patented, the technology now has a family of formulations applicable to different wood panels such as plywood, particleboard and MDF. The water-based product has been trialled successfully at two plywood/LVL mills in New Zealand.

Dr Will Barker, chief executive of NZBIO, says the technology is a game changer for wood panel manufacturers and is now attracting a lot of international interest.

NZBIOs also paid tribute to Margot Bethell and Andrew Kelly, who received Bioscience Awards for their lifetime achievements.

Margot Bethell is well known as the former programme director of the Bioscience Enterprise programme at the University of Auckland – a multidisciplinary science, business and law degree, with a core focus on the commercialisation of science. She is now co-founder and executive director of BioPacific Partners, which works with global partners to help connect them with Australian and New Zealand innovations from the region’s world-class science in food, health and agriculture.

Dr Andrew Kelly is also a co-founder and executive director of BioPacific. During his career he has led three separate research institutes during the 1990s – the Pastoral and Veterinary Institute, the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture and Invermay Research Centre. In the early 2000s Andrew led product development for AgResearch, engaging with start-ups and also fund-raising.

Andrew co-founded BioPacificVentures in 2005. It was the first specialist venture fund focused on food, agriculture and health in Australia and New Zealand, which he led for 10 years prior to co-founding BioPacific.

Dr Barker says as well as contributing to the wider New Zealand bioscience ecosystem and significantly assisting with commercial success in the industry, the pair has supported and encouraged the next generation of bioscience leaders.

One of those young New Zealand bioscientists, Dr Francis Hunter, was selected as “Young Bioscientist of the Year”. Only 18 months after finishing his PhD, Dr Hunter has already attracted $600,000 to research cancer therapies.

He co-founded Mesopharm Therapeutics, a co-operation between scientists from Stanford University (USA), University of Auckland and University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands), which reflects the power of multidisciplinary and global collaboration. The team aims revolutionize cancer therapies by combining state-of-the-art therapeutics and theranostics, first targeting breast cancer.

Dr Hunter has also won international awards including the Merck Serono Innovation Cup, and as part of the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge and OneStart. He is the first NZ scientist to be selected for a three-year term on the Associate Member Council of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:


Telecoms: Spark Welcomes Spectrum Allocation And Prepares For 5G Rollout Over The Next 12 Months

Spark welcomes spectrum allocation and prepares for 5G rollout over the next 12 months Spark today welcomed the announcement of the direct allocation process of 5G spectrum, with the Company to be offered management rights to 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz ... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Tax Changes Throw Cash Lifeline To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Some Indicators Pick Up As New Zealand Moves Out Of Lockdown

New Zealanders moved around more in the main centres and used more fuel and power while weekly exports held up as the country left the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown, Stats NZ said today. COVID-19 data porta l, our new webpage, includes about 40 near-real-time ... More>>

ALSO:



University Of Canterbury: Astronomers Discover The Science Behind Star Bursts That Light Up The Sky

University of Canterbury (UC) astronomers are part of an international team that has revealed how explosions on the surface of a white dwarf star can increase its brightness by thousands or millions of times making it look like a new star. For ... More>>

RNZ: International Passenger Numbers At Auckland Airport Drop 95 Percent

Auckland Airport says international passengers numbers have dropped more than 95 percent in the first 20 days of April over the year earlier. More>>

ALSO: