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The new Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI), the lead agency driving the science and innovation sector in New Zealand, became operational early this month.

While MSI is a new agency it also brings together the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (the Foundation) and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST) and assumes responsibility for the policy and investment functions of both agencies.

The agency hopes to foster closer links between science and companies using science to deliver new products and services.

The inaugural MSI chief executive is Murray Bain. He was formerly the chief executive of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (the Foundation) – from 2004 to 2010.

In announcing that the brand new agency is now open for business, Bain said, “The new Ministry has an exciting and ambitious mandate from Government to help strengthen the science and innovation systems. A critical element of this work is to bring together the so-called ‘triple helix’ of industry, science and government so that innovative ideas, wherever they are generated, thrive and deliver results for New Zealand.”

“We will also be taking a much more system-wide perspective, partnering with others in the science and innovation sectors to drive change and deliver increased value for New Zealand. Collectively, we will need to work together if we are to support the development of a truly innovative, smart nation.”

A new MSI website is being developed, and will be launched in mid-2011. In the interim, this site will keep you updated on MSI activties and announcements. The Foundation and MoRST websites will remain online until mid-2011, but no new content will be added from 1 February 2011.

You can read more about why MSI has been established and what its functions will be here: www.msi.govt.nz.

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