Tech institute named after Paul Callaghan
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 8:32a.m.
A new Government-funded technology institute will be named after the late Sir Paul Callaghan, a leading New Zealand physicist who died earlier this year.
Prime Minister John Key made the announcement at the launch of a Government Business Growth Agenda report on Building Innovation in Wellington on Tuesday morning.
The Government announced earlier this year it will invest $166 million over four years to establish a new Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), which will have bases in Auckland, the Hutt Valley and Christchurch up and running by December.
Mr Key says naming the ATI after Sir Paul is a "fitting tribute" to an outstanding New Zealander and eminent scientist.
Sir Paul was the founding director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Victoria University.
"Sir Paul championed the idea that science could make New Zealand a better place. He believed science was not only about great ideas, but about getting value from those ideas through innovation and commercialisation," Mr Key said.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce on Tuesday named NZQA chairwoman Sue Suckling to lead the ATI's seven-member establishment board.
The other board members named on Tuesday include board members from Crown Research Institutes and private company directors.
Mr Joyce also announced further details of the ATI's functions, saying it will be a "one-stop shop" to help high-tech firms become more competitive and connected to innovation and business development experts.
"It will focus on industries with significant growth potential such as food and beverage manufacturing, agri-technologies, digital technologies, health technologies and therapeutics manufacturing, and high-value wood products," he said.
The ATI will also take over some business development functions from the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, including the administration of some business research and development grants.
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