Auckland – BiotechNZ is surveying NZ biotechnology companies and supporting organisations to find out the state and future opportunities for biotechnology to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth.
The survey wants to find out where our Kiwi biotech strengths and challenges are, as to enable recommendations to decision maker to help make New Zealand cleaner, healthier and more prosperous, BiotechNZ executive director Dr Zahra Champion says.
“We all want to see GDP and economic activity growing, however, it is quite plausible that this is impacting the quality of New Zealand’s natural assets,” she says.
“It is key that this survey captures the companies, their activity and impact of biotechnology innovation so we can monitor employment, food security, energy security, water quality, company growth, exports and mitigations for climate change.
“We want to raise the profile of biotech in New Zealand and globally, so our country is seen not just as a tourist destination or known for its primary produce, but also for its cutting-edge biotech developments.
“New Zealand’s geographic isolation and strict quarantine standards contribute to the best animal health rating in the world, uniquely positioning the country to be a global leader in agricultural biotechnology research and application.
“This leadership position is greatly assisted by the research and development capabilities within the crown research institutes and the universities that undertake R&D specifically targeted at the primary industry sector.
“Biotechnology continues to pay a significant role for New Zealand, and even more importantly now with the global challenges the world is facing, and the need for solutions.
“In healthcare, we are discovering new drugs through a variety of means including, testing molecular compounds to find possible beneficial effects against any of a large number of diseases or using existing treatments that have unanticipated effects.
“We are applying life science tools, such as microbes and enzymes, to traditional manufacturing and chemical processes to produce bio based or cleaner, more sustainable products and materials.
“We see plant and animal biotechnology issues such as improvement to crop insect resistance, enhancement to crop herbicide tolerance and use more environmentally sustainable farming practices.
“Modern economies rely on resources which are finite in nature, and utilisation of fossil-fuel resources and unsustainable consumption of derived products also pose risks to societies and the environment due to their negative impacts such as climate change and ecosystem degradation.
“So, it is critical to be able to measure and track the economic performance and growth of the NZ bioeconomy. The last report was done in 2008 and 2011 was the last time Statistics New Zealand published data on the biotech sector.
“We will publish the key results of this survey which we will show to government to they will better understand our pivotal sector.”
For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188