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    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 20 November 2007 Referencing Hub media

    Why does New Zealand have such a good reputation for producing world-leading science? Representatives from the biotechnology sector provide some answers.

    This clip was produced in conjunction with NZBio.


    Brian Ward NZBio New Zealand has got a very strong history in agricultural sciences, so New Zealand is a leader in areas like dairy, sheep and pastoral biology. So in those areas we have a very strong position. We also have a number of leading medical researchers in areas like cancer and diabetes, that are very well positioned internationally.

    Richard Furneaux (Industrial Research Limited) New Zealand has a lot of high quality scientists who can do quite difficult work, and one of the areas that difficult work can be done in, is in learning how to take chemistry that works at the bench, learning to scale it up, and then to pass it through into a manufacturing situation. And all along that process there is problem solving activities going on, and that’s an area where we can compete internationally because we are good at solving problems.

    Brian Ward (NZBio) In terms of science New Zealand has a very credible, high quality science system and we are recognised internationally for producing innovative science.

    Doug Colhoun (Patent attorneys, AJ Park): New Zealanders are very good improvisers as well as inventors, but it’s converting inventions into innovations which is one of the things that New Zealanders do very well … even from starting from when first sheep carcasses were shipped to the United Kingdom. The invention there was freezing, and the innovation was using that for shipping them off to England

    George Slim (Ministry of Research, Science & Technology) We are very well connected in the policy sense, in a governmental sense, with what is happening with the rest of the world. So we work very closely obviously with Australia. We work quite closely with what’s happening in Europe and so forth. We keep very well connected. In terms of our regulatory area, our medicines regulations are up there with world class, our animal regulations are ahead. I mean, many countries look to us to take the lead on what they are doing with animals. Our regulations around biosecurity and new organisms are tighter than many places in the world, but that goes with what we are trying to do to protect our environment and protect our agriculture, which is very dependent on biosecurity. So being a small country, we can move quite quickly in terms of legislation and we keep up very well with what’s happening in the rest of the world.