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New Zealand Commits NZ$35M to Genomics Research

CHICAGO (GenomeWeb) – The government of New Zealand said today that it would invest as much as NZ$35 million ($25.7 million) over seven years to create a collaborative platform for advanced genomics research in that country.

Called Genomics Aotearoa — Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand — the program is a collaboration between more than three dozen institutions and organizations. It will be led by the University of Otago, with significant participation by the University of Auckland, the University of Massey, and several government research institutes. Genomics Aotearoa is aiming to expand the adoption and application of genomics technology across various scientific disciplines in New Zealand.

"This new collaborative platform presents a major opportunity for New Zealand to be at the forefront of genomics. From health research to the primary sector and our environment, there are considerable social and economic gains on offer," New Zealand Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith said in a statement. "The new platform will accelerate genomics research in New Zealand, and thereby speed up our understanding of diseases like Kauri dieback, how to counter pest animal species, and develop new medical treatments for diseases such as cancer."

Funding is coming from the island nation's Strategic Science Investment Fund.