Press Release – New Zealand Government
Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Science and Innovation
31 August 2015
Minister welcomes Queenstown research week
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has today welcomed the commencement of the 2015 Queenstown Research Week.
The event is New Zealand’s largest annual scientific gathering, bringing together over a thousand researchers for meetings and presentations covering a range of areas, with a focus on biological and medical sciences.
“Queenstown Research Week attracts leading scientists from New Zealand and around the world. It gives our researchers a valuable opportunity to extend their networks and establish international collaborations,” Mr Joyce says.
“A key part of the Government’s plan to improve economic performance and increase New Zealanders’ wealth and wellbeing is through our international science and innovation links.
“We are committed to fostering international collaboration as we strengthen the capacity of our science system to ensure New Zealand remains at the forefront of new developments.
“There is a huge amount of research happening locally in the health and biological sciences sphere, aided by Government funding. New Zealand’s science in this area is a real stand-out and helps place New Zealand science on the world stage,” Mr Joyce says.
The Health Research Council, which celebrates 25 years of supporting critical research this year, is currently working to better align itself with the Government’s broader health and economic goals.
“Support for medically-focused research has increased through greater funding for the Centres of Research Excellence. Performance-Based Research funding has also increased, with a commitment from Government to raise it again to $300 million per year from 2016.
“Three of the new, mission-led National Science Challenges are directed at improving the health and wellbeing for New Zealanders, and several others have biological science components.”
“Having a large overseas delegation in Queenstown demonstrates that science is at its core an international endeavour, Mr Joyce says.
“International connectivity in science is necessary to address global issues, such as improving health and tackling illnesses, which don’t respect international borders. We must all share our collective knowledge to address these challenges.”
Queenstown Research Week 2015 runs from 29th August to 4th September. Minister Joyce will attend a function with leading scientists in Queenstown this evening.