Congratulations to our Neonatal expert Professor Jane Harding as she is now one of the Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM). Congratulations also to medical researcher Professor Robert Elliott who has been appointed Knight Companions of the NZOM.
Well deserved recognition for both of these outstanding individuals working in the field of medical research.
In 2002 biotechnology was recognized by the New Zealand Government as a sector with the potential to make substantial contributions to the social wellbeing and economic growth of the country. The New Zealand Government’s Biotechnology Strategy was released in 2003.
“You all know biotechnology is an important part of New Zealand’s future” Peter Hodgson, Research and Science Minister, 19 September 2003. This quote is still very relevant today as it was back in 2003.
New Zealand Scientists and key industry players were in the media last month, with an urgent call for the government to develop a national vaccine strategy, along with someone to lead it, amid fears New Zealand could be at the back of the queue for any potential Covid-19 vaccine.
Unveiled on the 26 May was the Wellbeing Budget: Rebuilding Together establishes the $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to support our economy and kick-start our recovery. This included $37 Million for a Vaccine Strategy.
“Malaghan Institute’s professor Graham Le Gros is confident the Government’s $37 million vaccine package will mean a vaccine will be discovered in our own backyard” But Dr Le Gros predicted it’ll be at least two years until a vaccine is ready to be rolled out.
“It just takes time to test it on people. Test it to see if it produces long-term, protected immunity. We need to know if it can protect people for a decent amount of time. You can’t actually have people breaking out in boils six months down the track – it’s too late. You’ve vaccinated five million people.”
A number of our biotech companies have been successful securing funding for vaccine development from Government Covid grants including: Avalia Immunotherapies, Pictor, Covid-19 Vaccine Corporation Ltd – CVC, Uqbiqutome, Auckland UniServices Limited , Douglas Pharmaceuticals Limited, Kode Biotech Ltd, Massey University, Orion Health, Trinity Bioactives Ltd, Ubiquitome Limited, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury and University of Otago.
BiotechNZ in a Year
Another year has passed and the team at BioTechNZ (TechAlliance), have worked hard to increase the profile of the New Zealand Biotechnology sector. Here is a snapshot of what we have achieved.
Biotech Sector Infographic
BioTechNZ as part of the Biotechnology Market Insights Report – Innovating for a Sustainable Future is creating an infographic similar to the AI Forum, if you would like to be part of this please send your logo to us.
BioTechNZ Council nominations close Tuesday, 16 June
Nominations for the BioTechNZ Executive Council are currently open. All BioTechNZ member organisations can nominate a representative. This is your chance to be involved in shaping the future direction of Aotearoa’s Biotech sector! Submit your nomination using the online form here. The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Tuesday 16 June. Online elections will follow and the new Council will be announced at our Annual Meeting on Tuesday 21 July. Please register if you want to attend the Annual Meeting – note this is a member only event.
BioTechNZ and Bioscience Enterprise (UoA) Webinar
BiotechNZ and Bioscience Enterprise – The University of Auckland, will be joining forces to bring to you a Biotech webinar.
Join us at 5pm on Thursday 18 June to hear fromAssociate Professor Kerry Loomes the Director, Bioscience Enterprise Programme Associate Professor Wallace Bridge, Biotechnology Programs Director, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS), Faculty of Science, UNSW Sydney.
To achieve competitiveness in the biotechnology industry, the education system for science students needs to be sufficiently adequate to produce graduates that are scientifically competent to generate the technology opportunities, have the business acumen to map the commercialisation pathway, and have the entrepreneurial mindset to both drive and enable business success. Hear from Kerry and Wallace about what is happening in this space in New Zealand and Australia. Register here.
New Zealand is definitely heading in the right direction in our fight against Covid, keep up the good work.
Stay safe, be kind to one another.
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