February 22nd, 2017

Hon. Paul Goldsmith, the Minister for Science and Innovation, learned a thing or two about the sperm health of native birds last night - a research topic of Dr. Helen Taylor of the University of Otago. 

Goldsmith was in attendance at the gala dinner of the 2017 eResearch NZ conference, which commenced in Queenstown on Monday.

During a keynote address, Minister Goldsmith spoke on the importance of science and research to New Zealand. 

“It’s not just about the economy, it’s about answering the puzzles of life… It’s important that we have the resources and capabilities for New Zealanders to contribute to the global understanding of science.”

The three-day event brings together leading researchers (from early career through to fellows and professors) alongside key Government agencies and e-infrastructure organisations such as REANNZ. 

REANNZ presented 10 different sessions throughout the course of the conference – ranging from technical updates on our high-speed network, to collaborative case studies with AUT and the University of Otago. 

Our CEO, Nicole Ferguson, also presented an update on REANNZ’s strategic focuses: building a rich and interconnected research, education and innovation ecosystem, developing services that are tailored for our members and of course, achieving financial sustainability

eResearch NZ is an annual event, co-hosted by the country’s three e-Infrastructure organisations - NeSI, NZGL and REANNZ. 

This year NZGL took the lead on organising the conference, which included a dinner and quiz, sponsored by Microsoft Azure. 

The quiz was won by a team made up of University of Otago researchers and REANNZ employees, and Minister Goldsmith was keen to congratulate them on their win. 

As he did so he asked about their work, which led to a lively and interesting discussion about bird sperm and genetic diversity amongst kiwi bird species.

Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Dr Helen Taylor and Yeshawini Ramesh discuss birds and networks

Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Dr Helen Taylor and Yeshawini Ramesh discuss birds and networks at eResearch NZ.