Editorial: Government right to stoke innovation

Trade Me founder Sam Morgan has had a go at the Government’s big “innovation” fund.

Callaghan Innovation, named for the late scientist Sir Paul Callaghan, gave out $270 million last year to encourage hi-tech companies to spend more on research and development.

When it announced its latest grants this week – another $32m for 22 businesses – Morgan let rip about the “stupid” scheme.

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Analysis – Plant-based vaccines challenge big pharma for $3 billion flu market

Two tiny companies are preparing to challenge some of the world’s largest drug makers in the battle for dominance in the $3 billion global market for influenza vaccines, armed with little more than tiny tobacco plants.

The use of plants to produce life-saving pharmaceuticals captured global attention when it was revealed that the Ebola drug ZMapp is produced in the leaves of tobacco plants.

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Lanzatech is now truly global

Here is the latest from LanzaTech, which is now describing itself as a company that is recycling greenhouse gas emissions into low carbon fuel and chemical production.

In a nutshell the company is now headquartered in Illinois and it has just been judged the North American Company of the Year in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100.
It got to that from 5995 companies being shortlisted to 327 and then to a finalist list of 100.

Over the past three years the Top North American companies have been SilverSpring Networks, OPower and Nest. All these companies are building industries. Dr Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech’s CEO, says LanzaTech too is leading the building of an ecosystem – the gas fermentation industry.

This is the fifth time LanzaTech has been successful and it was the Asia Pacific Company of the Year in a prior awards. The company now is truly global. Although it is headquartered in the US, it still is proud of its NZ roots.

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Highly productive year for Scion

Crown Research Institute Scion has reported a successful year in its Annual Report for the 12 months ending 30 June 2014.

The year’s highlights range across all Scion’s research areas that take in forest growing, forest health, solid wood, wood fibre and biomaterials research, environmental performance, forestry-based ecosystem services, clean technologies and bioenergy.

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VUW students to develop website on impact of energy choices

Press Release – Victoria University of Wellington
A group of Victoria University of Wellington students will spend the summer developing an interactive website that will allow the public and government organisations to see how the energy choices we make today will impact New Zealand in 2050.

The venture is a partnership between Victoria and the National Energy Research Institute (NERI), with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, youth-led climate change organisation Generation Zero, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the British High Commission, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the United Kingdom.

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Research and Markets: Analyzing the Renewable Energy Industry in Australia

This research presents an in-depth analysis of the Australian renewable energy industry. In its research report – Analyzing the renewable Energy Industry in Australia – the report looks at this superbly charged industry which is growing at a breakneck speed in Australia.

Starting off with a basic overview of the global energy industry, the research focuses on the global renewable energy industry. A market profile, global market capacity, market-wise analysis, GHG emissions, challenges facing the development of the renewable energy market worldwide is all analyzed in this section.

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Research and Markets: Analyzing China’s Biofuel Industry 2014-2020

Although biofuels are mainly used to replace or supplement the traditional petroleum-based transportation fuels, they can also be deployed to generate heat and electricity. Being an alternative to fossils, biofuels can be applied to existing vehicles with little or no engine modification. Although they release CO2 when burned in internal combustion engines, they differ from fossil fuels partly because their use reduces the net emission of carbon dioxide and other gases associated with global climate change and partly because they are biodegradable.

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1.8m to be invested in Māori-led science & innovation

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced today that a further $1.8 million will be invested over the next two years to develop the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources, and people for the benefit of New Zealand.

“MBIE’s Te Pūnaha Hihiko Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund aims to strengthen connections between Māori and the science and innovation system,” says Anne Berryman, National Manager Science Development.

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