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Dr Andrew West To Chair Science New Zealand

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

2 September 2008 - Dr Andrew West, Chief Executive of AgResearch Ltd, has been elected Chairman of Science New Zealand. He said the group of Crown Research Institutes will promote greater understanding of the contribution of science towards wealth, sustainability and cohesion in New Zealand.

Dr West said: "The OECD says that New Zealand must innovate or stagnate. If we are to once again be in the top third of nations for prosperity and well-being, science and innovation will provide an important base."

"Building that understanding and support amongst the public, business and government represents a substantial responsibility for Science New Zealand. The Crown Research Institutes are committed to making science and technology part of the nation's thinking, so that all decision-making is evidential-based".

Dr West succeeds Dr Alex Malahoff, Chief Executive of GNS Science. Mr John Morgan, Chief Executive of NIWA, becomes Deputy-Chairman.

The nine Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) are New Zealand's largest dedicated scientific enterprises and are owned by the Crown. The CRIs earn more than $625 million annually and have 4,500 staff in 50 sites from Invermay to Kaitaia.

Dr West was appointed Chief Executive of AgResearch in March 2004. He was formerly fulltime Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Chief Executive of GNS Science.

In the early 1990s, he played a major role in the then-Government's science reforms, including the design and establishment of the Ministry of Research Science & Technology, the Foundation for Research Science & Technology, Crown Research Institutes and the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit. He was also Science Advisor to the Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

Dr West gained a PhD in Microbial Ecology from the Polytechnic of Central London and is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Notes to Editor Science New Zealand represents the nine Crown Research Institutes, with more than 4,500 staff dedicated to the economic, environmental, social and knowledge wealth of New Zealand.

The Crown Research Institutes undertake research for government and private sector markets in New Zealand and abroad. They also provide the essential underlying capability in people, facilities and knowledge for the long term future of science and innovation in this country.

The Crown Research Institutes are: AgResearch, Crop & Food Research, ESR, GNS Science, HortResearch, Industrial Research, Landcare Research, NIWA and Scion.

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