2015 Science Investment Round applications open

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is calling for applications for the 2015 Science Investment Round.

Applications are now open for the Targeted Research and Smart Ideas (Phases 1 & 2) funding mechanisms.

Smart Ideas is designed to invest in ideas-driven research and has two phases. Smart Ideas Phase 1 proposals are due by 12 noon on 3 February 2015. It is aimed at initial development of novel and promising ideas.

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Global Synthetic Biology (Bioinformatics, Nanotechnology, Gene Synthesis, Cloning & Sequencing) Market – Forecast to 2018

The synthetic biology market is highly competitive with a large number of players, including both big and small players, operating in this market. Synthetic biology is an emerging area of research and is broadly described as the design and construction of novel organisms or devices, artificial biological pathways, and the redesign of existing natural biological systems.

The global synthetic biology market is segmented on the basis of tools, technologies, applications, and regions. On the basis of tools, the market is categorized into Xeno-nucleic acids, chassis organisms, oligonucleotides, enzymes, and cloning and assembly kits. The oligonucleotides segment is expected to account for the largest share of the synthetic biology market, by tool. However, the cloning and assembly kits segment is expected to grow at the fastest rate in the market, by tool.

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Giant accolade for miniature apple developers

The Rockit apple, an export success largely funded by Tauranga Enterprise Angels investors, has scored an international award.

It won the New Zealand-Taiwan Business Excellence Award in Taipei last week.

Phil Alison, managing director of Hawkes Bay-based Havelock North Fruit Company (HNFC), which grows and markets the Rockit, attended the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

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Pacific Edge says it’s on track after posting loss

Pacific Edge, which makes and markets bladder cancer tests, said its first half loss was unchanged from the year earlier period as increased revenues were channelled into development and marketing of its products, in line with its plans. The shares jumped to a seven-week high.

The Dunedin-based company posted a net loss of $4.73 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, little changed from the loss of $4.76 million in the year earlier period, it said in a statement.

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NZVIF Investment Report

New Zealand Venture Investment Fund have issued their first investment report in over a decade.  The report makes good reading and shows that there are signs of growth following a challenging few years during the worst of the GFC.  They have had some good exits, a few write offs but the main part of the portfolio remains invested in growing NZ companies.  I will see if we can get some detail on the biotech component and report back soon.

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Health innovations pitched

Ipu Whenua is not a new concept.

Maori have traditionally buried the whenua [placenta] and pito [umbilical cord] of new-born babies for generations.

The idea has resurfaced after the Southern District Health Board challenged its staff to come up with innovative ideas to improve health service delivery.

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GMO is the way to go – and grow – safely

The acronym “GMO” set fear into the hearts of New Zealanders back in the 1980s and 90s, as worldwide research and debate around genetically modified organisms threw up all sorts of perceived risks and possibilities.

But a couple of decades on, those fears have been largely unfounded, and now is the time for New Zealand to seize the opportunities provided by the genetic revolution. There is really no other way to go if New Zealand’s agricultural sector is to meet the environmental, climate change and economic challenges it is facing.

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