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The new Science Board, under the relatively new Ministry of Science and Innovation, is to drive broader NZ-oriented research platforms under what is to be a less competitive funding model.

A greater degree of science and institute bulk funding (even if this isn’t the politically correct term) will put a greater emphasis on the Science Board to make sure deliverables are delivered.

Announced early in the New Year, while New Zealand’s on holiday, the Science Board is to be chaired by Prof. Sir David Skegg, the vice-chancellor of Otago University. Dunedin based Skegg has an international reputation for scientific research, and was awarded the Sir Charles Hercus Medal by the Royal Society of NZ.

His fellow board members are:

Prof Richard Blaikie – Christchurch, director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, works at Canterbury Unversity

Denise Church – Wellington, leadership and strategy consulting services across the public sector, member of the FRST board

Prof Peter Hunter – Auckland, director of the Bioengineering Insitute at Auckland University. Chair of the Marsden Fund Council

Wendy Nelson - Wellington, principal scientist at NIWA

Dr William Rolleston – South Canterbury, CEO of South Pacific Sera, chair of MSI’s Innovation Board

Prof Charles Royal – Auckland, chair of indigenous development in the faculty of arts at Auckland University.

Prof Warren Tate – Dunedin, associate dean research (health science division) at Otago University

Three new members were also announced for the Marsden Fund Council, the allocation body responsible for investment in what are often considered more blue sky or basic research.

They are:

Prof Kurt Krause – Dunedin, convenor of the Biomedical panel, head of Otago University’s Dept. of Biochemistry, director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases

Prof Linda Smith – Hamilton, convenor of Social Sciences panel, Waikato University, pro vice-chancellor Maori

Prof David Williams – Auckland, convenor of the physics, chemistry and biochemistry panel, professor of Electrochemistry at Auckland University