IRANZ news briefs

James Pope

Dr James Pope has taken over as Chief Executive Officer at CRL. James has a PhD in geochemistry, 20 years’ experience in the minerals industry, and has been with CRL for 16 years.

New CEO and Chair at CRL

CRL has a new Chair, Luc Bohyn, and Chief Executive Officer, Dr James Pope.

Luc is a former board member of New Zealand Coal and Carbon a West Coast mining company; he has a background in the European energy and materials markets.

James has a PhD in geochemistry, 20 years’ experience in the minerals industry, and has been with CRL for 16 years. Currently, James is involved in research related to mining environmental management, treatment of contaminated water from mining and agriculture, and geothermal geochemistry. He is a member of the AusIMM and NZ Geological Society, is adjunct to the Department of Geological Science at the University of Canterbury and the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor.

Regional Research Institutes Bragato, NZMMIR and PlantTech join IRANZ

At its June Meeting, IRANZ formally welcomed as IRANZ Members the new Regional Research Institutes The Bragato Research Institute in Blenheim, The New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research in Greymouth, and The PlantTech Research Institute in Tauranga. The other Regional Research Institute, Xerra, based in Alexandra joined IRANZ last year.

The Government’s Regional Research Institute (RRI) initiative established new, independently-governed, private or private not-for-profit regional research institutes. The RRI initiative was modelled on Nelson’s successful Cawthron Institute. A NZIER report showed the Cawthron Institute had contributed $14 million in added value to the local economy and indirectly created 91 jobs in Nelson.

“The Independent Research Organisation model adopted for the RRIs is a recognition of the important role IROs play in the New Zealand research, science, technology and innovation infrastructure,” says IRANZ Chair Dr John Bright, “IROs will have an important role in increasing Business Enterprise Research And Development (BERD), which is a key part of Government’s commitment to increasing total R&D investment to 2% of GDP in ten years.”

Bragato Research Institute welcomes new independent directors

The Bragato Research Institute (BRI) has announced the appointment of two new independent Board Members, Dr Dianne McCarthy CRSNZ CNZM, and Dr Bruce Campbell.

Dr McCarthy is the former CEO of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and is presently the Board Chair of the NZ Institute of Economic Research, a Director of the Cawthron Institute, on the governance boards of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge (NSC), and is the Chair of the Ageing Well NSC.

Dr Campbell is a recipient of the 2017 Prime Minister's Science Prize, the 2017 Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award, and the 2016 Royal Society of New Zealand Thomson Medal for outstanding leadership of agricultural and horticultural science.


PlantTech officially launched by the Hon. Dr Megan Woods

PlantTech Research Institute, New Zealand's latest Regional Research Institute, was officially launched on 23 May at TechWeek Tauranga by Minister of Research, Science and Innovation the Hon. Dr Megan Woods.

National Party leader Simon Bridges was also in attendance and said it was a pleasure to see the research and innovation institute launched.

PlantTech will focus on applying cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning to the scientific challenges in New Zealand's horticulture industry.

See their website >>

Aqualinc and HydroServices now located in one office

Following the successful merger of Aqualinc and HydroServices in 2016, both Hydroservices and Aqualinc staff in Christchurch have moved offices to finally all be together in the one location at 1 Bolt Place, near Christchurch airport.

Director of Research and Development Dr John Bright says the merger allows them to provide whole water management solutions from research through to on-farm advice and monitoring.

Malaghan: Immune health a focus

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research’s translational immunology programme will get a $5 million funding boost over the next five years to investigate how certain health foods can protect us from urban air pollution.

The funding is one of four priority research programmes funded in the second phase of the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge linking health research to New Zealand’s food and beverage industry.

“Leveraging the comprehensive banking of samples from completed human studies, the research team are creating an analysis pipeline to understand the complex relationship between food, the microbiome and the human immune system,” says Dr Olivier Gasser, translational immunology team leader at the Malaghan Institute.


Motu: Commentary on the Zero Carbon Amendment Bill

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research's Catherine Leining responds to the launch of the Zero Carbon Bill in May, writing that it might just be the opportunity to really get the electric motor of New Zealand’s mitigation action running.

“The Government is heeding the stark warning in the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5ºC and putting New Zealand on an ambitious pathway toward net zero emissions of long-lived GHGs and substantial reductions in methane from agriculture and waste by 2050. The Zero Carbon Amendment Bill may finally light the fire under New Zealand mitigation action. It breaks important new ground in six ways.”


MRINZ 'science connect' programme in primary schools

In May, the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand - MRINZ ran a three-week 'science connect' programme in primary schools as part of their drive to give back to local communities and help grow the next generation of thinkers in New Zealand.

The workshops aimed at primary school children explored how scientists answer tricky questions with research. The kids then had a go designing their own experiments, with the researchers saying they were really impressed with some of the kids’ ideas.

Cawthron educators inspiring budding environmental scientists

More than 100 Year 13 biology students from secondary schools in Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough are finding out about the science that lies behind our successful aquaculture industry.

The students swapped the classroom for lab coats and gumboots at Cawthron Institute’s Aquaculture Park to participate in two days of laboratory-based workshops guided by specialist educators from Cawthron and the University of Otago.


LASRA wins Young Scientist Leather Grant for leather research for 2nd year in a row

New Zealand Leather and Shoe Research Association’s Catherine Maidment was the winner of this year’s Young Scientist Leather Grant for leather research from the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies Research Commission (IUR), making it the second year in a row that a researcher from New Zealand’s LASRA has managed to scoop the international prize.

Catherine wins a 1500 Euro grant to put towards researching the causes for loose and tight leathers. She will correlate this important structural-mechanical behaviour with the profiles of protein compositions of different processing states in the beamhouse measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy.

Cawthron Institute welcomes funding for National Algae Centre

Advancing world-leading algae research in Nelson has been given a huge boost thanks to the approval of funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, Cawthron Institute Chief Executive Charles Eason says.

“The approval of $6 million to help build the National Algae Centre will enable Cawthron scientists to expand their internationally-recognised work in the rapidly growing algae sector and create value for our existing and future partners.”


Cawthron Institute hosting Open Oceans aquaculture symposium

The Cawthron Institute is hosting its inaugural Open Oceans aquaculture symposium, “Unlocking the potential of our oceans”, which will discuss the ways open ocean aquaculture developments in both shellfish and finfish farming could revolutionise the global aquaculture industry.

The symposium will be held from 5-7 August 2019 at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson, New Zealand.


Malaghan’s Dr Weinkove features at TEDxTauranga

The Malaghan Institute’s Clinical Director, Dr Rob Weinkove, spoke at TEDxTauranga 2019 – Re:action on 22 June.

The talk was an opportunity to hear more about Dr Weinkove's work and his background investigating cutting-edge cancer treatments that harness the immune system. Rob is leading the team at the Malaghan Institute working to bring the first clinical trial of the revolutionary CAR T-cell cancer therapy to New Zealand.

LASRA joins Naturally Leather

LASRA has recently joined the membership of Leather Naturally, an industry-led initiative acting on behalf of the global leather industry.

Leather Naturally "promotes the use of globally-manufactured sustainable leather and seeks to inspire and inform designers, creators, and consumers about its beauty, quality and versatility". LASRA’s Director, Geoff Holmes, says this mission statement aligns closely to LASRA’s own role in guiding and supporting the industry in producing sustainably produced premium quality hides and skins.

Leather Naturally has just announced a USD 1.5 million dollar global campaign that will kick off this month. According to Campaign Manager Fernando Bellese the campaign will "help build a stronger image of leather and connect this incredible material with new consumers".

Peter Carey from Lincoln Agritech interviewed on RNZ

Dr Peter Carey from Lincoln Agritech was interviewed by Radio NZ on his research into using catch crops to mitigate nitrate leaching during winter forage grazing. Listen to his 23 May RadioNZ Rural Morning Report interview at 1.54’.

Date posted: 1 July 2019

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