Konica Corporation Backs Science And Technology Promotion

  • Maurice Williamson
Research, Science and Technology

The New Zealand Science and Technology Promotion Programme, an initiative led by four major organisations in science and technology promotion in New Zealand, will undertake a series of regional forums around New Zealand.

The initiative is being supported by a $100,000 cultural sponsorship from Konica Corporation of Japan. Its New Zealand distribution partner, U-Bix Document Solutions, will provide additional support for the forums.

Mr Yasuo Matsumoto, General Manager of Konica Corporation, confirmed the sponsorship at a meeting today with the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, the Hon Maurice Williamson.

The Konica Science and Technology Forums will celebrate innovation in New Zealand, helping New Zealanders to understand how to foster the role of science and technology in creating a knowledge-based future.

Details are still being finalised but participants are likely to include business, academia and teachers, local government and other community leaders and members of the local science and technology community. The Science and Technology Promotion Programme aims to encourage such groups to form close networks, which in turn helps science and technology to become better recognised as essential to a knowledge-based culture.

Mr Matsumoto told Mr Williamson and the members of the Science and Technology Promotion Programme that Konica's philosophy was to make continuous investment in innovation.

We see this sponsorship as a contribution towards creating a better understanding of the value of science and technology and the contribution it can make to everyday life in New Zealand. We are particularly pleased that it will encourage people all around New Zealand to become involved.

Mr Williamson said the Science and Technology Promotion Programme was using its theme of Wow! It's Science to raise New Zealanders' appreciation of the value of science and technology in a world in which knowledge was increasingly replacing traditional capital as the prime resource of individuals, corporates and societies.

Konica understands that responsibility for innovation is neither solely the responsibility of corporations nor of government. All of us have to work together to foster a culture of innovation right from the grass roots of society.

In New Zealand, we are encouraging parents and educators to see the study of science and technology as vital to the education of our children. We are encouraging scientists and technologists to create linkages with the rest of society. We are encouraging business and other groups in society to consider the opportunities and implications offered to New Zealand by the knowledge society.

It is no coincidence that many of Japan's major innovative companies, such as Konica, are led by executives with degrees in physics or some other science. In New Zealand, we still tend to think a science education inevitably leads to a career only in research, and we encourage kids to take up law and accountancy to reach the top.

On behalf of the people of New Zealand, and all those who value science and technology in our life and in our future, I thank Konica Corporation for their generous support.

For an interview with the Minister of Research, Science and Technology