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Have your say on research, science and innovation

In this issue

  • Insights from the Executive Director
  • Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways Green Paper
  • BioTechNZ news and highlights
  • Government submissions
  • What’s happening around the country and across the ditch?

Insights from the Executive Director

One of the members in my household tested positive for COVID-19. As I was taking my test in the bathroom with all the pets staring up at me, I was thinking that we know the SARS-CoV-2 virus has never been an exclusively human problem, so do I need to vaccinate my pets?

Since the early days of the pandemic, scientists have been concerned about the impact of the virus responsible for COVID-19 on pets, livestock and wildlife. In the zoos, we are vaccinating species, including Amur tigers, snow leopards, white-handed gibbons, squirrel monkeys, camels, goats, llamas, meerkats and more. In summary, the species that have the closest interactions with human caregivers are most at risk, as are cats and primates in general.

It’s still not clear how many dogs and cats have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, although the rates may be similar to those of people. Yet pet symptoms seem to be mild, if they appear at all.

In addition, “Cats and dogs don’t play an important role in the maintenance or transmission of the disease to humans,” says William Karesh, executive vice president for health and policy at EcoHealth Alliance. Therefore, there is no urgency for a pet vaccine. By the way, my test was negative! ☺️

Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways Green Paper

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking feedback on proposals for the research, science and innovation (RSI) sector. In its formative stage, the Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper seeks to begin the conversation about the future of New Zealand’s research system.

BioTechNZ will be making a submission on behalf of its members. If you have an opinion or content that you would like BioTechNZ to include in the submission, please email me.

Biotech News and Highlights

International Women’s Day (8 March 2022) highlighted the many amazing women in New Zealand and overseas businesses who are doing great things, and this is no exception for the biotech sector. I look forward to the day we don’t need a ‘women’s day’ and both men and women are valued equally.

BioTechNZ Government submissions

  • Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways Green Paper consultation process.
  • BioTechNZ is currently writing a submission and we invite members to provide input before the 16 March closing date. Email me here.

What’s happening around the country and across the ditch?

Biotech & Beer Happy Hour

The TechAlliance has made the decision NOT to run face-to-face events over the first quarter of this year (to see how COVID plays out in the community). However, after speaking to a number of our members, the consensus is to get together informally over the next couple of months with a virtual ‘Biotech & Beer Happy Hour’. Join me on Thursday 17 March, 5.30pm for a virtual brew and some great conversation.

Natural Health Products Summit 2022

This year’s summit is to be held in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand. The Plenary Sessions (17 & 18 August 2022) will be held at the Napier Conference Centre.

2022 BIO International Convention

June 13-16, 2022, San Diego, California. This year BIO is pleased to extend an early discount on 2022 BIO International Convention registrations to BioTechNZ members. Please contact me for discount details.

AusBiotech 2022 in-person (no online)

Join the Australia’s largest Life Sciences Conference, AusBiotech 2022, Australia’s biggest week in biotech. Save the date: 26-28 October 2022 in Perth, Western Australia

BioTechNZ members please send your news to us so we can share your success stories with the biotech community.

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.