NZ pumps more money into the Australian Synchrotron

New Zealand is to contribute A$5 million over four years towards the operating costs of the Australian Synchrotron, which is the largest piece of scientific infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Synchrotron provides scientists with an intense light that can be used to study the structure and composition of materials.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce (in a press release here) said NZ would continue to invest in the research facility to provide access for our scientists.

“This continued investment ensures that New Zealand scientists will get preferential access to leading-edge research technology. Synchrotron science has applications across a wide range of scientific disciplines highly relevant to New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.

“For example, Massey University has used the synchrotron to determine the structural basis for the differing strength of sheep and beef leather. This has the potential to increase returns from the sheep industry by about $150 million per annum.”

The government and NZ research sector previously contributed $6.27 million (A$5m) towards building the facility and over the last five years have contributed $4.39m (A$3.5m) towards its running costs.

Joyce said this investment helped to ensure NZ scientists had preferred access to the facility since it opened.

The Government will contribute up to 53 per cent ($2.95m) of New Zealand’s operational funding committed for the three-year period from July 2013. The rest will come from shareholders of the New Zealand Synchrotron Group, who are all New Zealand research organisations.

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