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Entrepreneurs to reduce delays in medical research

For Immediate Release

Kiwi entrepreneurs to reduce delays in vital medical research

Lack of participants means around 75% of medical research in New Zealand is delayed, slowing down the development of new treatments and medical advancements.

Now, in an innovative programme developed by local entrepreneur Jamie Mannion, New Zealanders from across the country will be able to help make a difference in the fight against disease and illness.

Launched on Wednesday the 2nd of December by the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Wayne Mapp, Getparticipants.com will make it easier for local researchers to find the 200,000+ participants needed each year for an estimated 4,000 projects.

People are invited to register at the site and provide some basic information that allows Getparticipants to link them to research programmes that are relevant to them, and inform them of opportunities to get involved.

The idea was born when Jamie Mannion was completing his Masters in Exercise Rehabilitation at the University of Auckland and struggled, along with many of his peers, to recruit participants for his project.

“The interesting thing was that most of the participants we found were more than happy to get involved and some mentioned how unfortunate it was that these opportunities weren’t more common. From there I decided that an online market place would be an ideal environment to connect willing participants with researchers,” said Mannion.

Along with his mother, Jude Mannion (a well know social entrepreneur and founder of the Robin Hood Foundation), Jamie entered his idea to the 2008 SPARK 40K Entrepreneurial Challenge and won first place.

The prize money funded the development of the website, which already has 17 studies listed in areas such as mental health, cardiovascular, children, exercise and sport and social groups.

Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Wayne Mapp said "An entrepreneurial culture will be vital to improving economic growth. To an entrepreneur, a need is an opportunity. Jamie Mannion saw a need, took the opportunity, and has created this service. It is these kinds of clever business ideas that will make a difference and enable us to close the economic gap with Australia."

ENDS

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