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New coordinator for NZ-German science relationships - 07/06/2007

Helping the blossoming New Zealand-Germany science relationship grow even stronger is the goal of Wellington’s Dr Frank Bruhn, New Zealand’s new science representative in Germany.

Dr Bruhn is the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology’s new Coordinator of the New Zealand-Germany Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement, a role that will see him creating opportunities for New Zealand researchers and technology-based businesses to work with their German counterparts.

Dr Helen Anderson, chief executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, says Dr Bruhn will liaise with German organisations to find innovative ways of increasing industry and research collaboration, improving coordination between funding agencies, and supporting connections in priority research areas. He will also keep the New Zealand Government informed about science and technology developments in Germany.

Dr Bruhn is Director and General Manager of the National Isotope Centre at GNS Science in Lower Hutt. He manages nearly 50 staff at GNS and has extensive experience working with industry and other users of research technologies and services.

“It’s great to have a researcher of Dr Bruhn’s quality and experience coordinating our relationship with Germany, which is one of New Zealand’s key scientific partners,” Dr Anderson says.

Dr Bruhn, who is a German citizen and a permanent resident of New Zealand, worked in German research institutions in the 1990s and has maintained strong links with the German science sector, having been a Research Fellow of the German Research Foundation.

He is also a Board Member of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and the Joint Antarctic Research Institute between GNS Science and Victoria University. Dr Bruhn also represents New Zealand in the Regional Cooperative Agreement of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Steve Maharey, and Dr Bruhn visited Germany in February. There Mr Maharey and Germany’s Federal Minister of Research, Dr Annette Schavan, agreed to strengthen scientific ties, particularly in mutually important areas such as biotechnology and climate change research.

“It was great to see that Berlin shares the New Zealand Government’s enthusiasm for the relationship. The future for German-New Zealand science collaboration looks bright,” Dr Anderson says.