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Science terms everyday, everywhere

Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided a COVID-19 update on COVID-19 daily and both use terminology like genomic testing, genomic sequencing, DNA, vaccines, viruses, cells, antibodies, epidemiology, microbiology and handwashing, masks and NZ COVID Tracer app in the same breath. This coupled with media articles like “Coronavirus: What is genome testing and how will it help New Zealand stamp out Covid-19?” has been hugely valuable to the mass education of the New Zealand public in understanding biotechnology, science and the importance of our highly educated staff working at the many testing facilities, with ESR being mentioned everyday.  

The Government announced another undisclosed amount for the development of a vaccine (due to commercial sensitivity which could prevent a potential deal). This is on top of the current spend to date. In May this year, the Government made an initial allocation of $37 million to the COVID-19 vaccine strategy.

“A shining Bright Star”
Emeritus Professor Sir Robert Bartlett Elliott, MBBS, MD, FRACP, CNZM Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Paediatrician, Medical researcher; (3 January 1934 – 21 August 2020)

Sir Robert Elliott, who preferred to go by Bob, died at the age of 86. He spent more than 60 years improving the quality of life for children. Bob was actively involved in science, as one of the founders and key pioneers in the research of the A2 beta-casein protein, co-founded Living Cell Technologies (LCT), Somnaceutics and NZeno.  

BioTechNZ Strategic Planning Session
30 September 2020 

As this is a key time for biotechnology in New Zealand, we are opening this session to members who are interested in driving the direction of the organisation. Due to the current uncertainty, this will be via zoom, to ensure we can have all the key people attending. If you are interested in attending please send your details to

Stay safe,

Zahra Champion
Executive Director

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BioTechNZ Our aim is to raise awareness and increase the understanding to enable our nation to embrace the best opportunities biotech offers to us daily, helping us live better, healthier and more productive lives.