### idealog.co.nz 28 Sept 2011 at 3:39 pm
Polymers could be key in affordable uptake of solar in homes and office buildings
By Sustain Team
We’re used to seeing massive solar panels strapped to the roofs of houses and office buildings, but a Victoria University lecturer says a process that incorporates solar cells into roofing materials could serve us better. According to Dr Justin Hodgkiss, these cells could provide all the energy used in a home or office building in New Zealand, at a more affordable option. Hodgkiss, a lecturer at the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, said conventional solar cells use silicon to absorb light and convert the energy into electricity. But processing silicon into a working solar cell is very expensive, with the high costs limiting the uptake of the technology by consumers. Hodgkiss is one of a number of local and international scientists who are investigating an alternative option of making solar cells from polymers or plastics. They are building on the work of Nobel Prize winning New Zealand scientist and Victoria alumnus Alan MacDiarmid who discovered the electronic conductivity of polymers. Hodgkiss said the major advantage of using polymers is that they can be dissolved to make an ink and then printed in sheets.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
### idealog.co.nz 22 Sept 2011 @ 4:13 pm
‘Never fear knowledge’ – Paul Callaghan talks sci-tech and entrepreneurial genius
By Esther Goh
Professor Sir Paul Callaghan has written a business plan for New Zealand – and it doesn’t include winning the World Cup.
“Never fear knowledge,” he told an audience of 1500 at the Wellington Town Hall last Wednesday. “If you have a business plan like the one I’m talking about you are not interested in digging up our national parks and resources at the expense of all we hold dear.”
The Victoria University Professor and New Zealander of the Year spoke at the Inaugural Chancellor’s Lecture about creating a more prosperous country through science and technology. Callaghan said New Zealand currently has one of the lowest rates of investment in research and development in the OECD, crippling our ability to achieve prosperity.
Read more + Video (1:15:19)
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
### ODT Online Tue, 11 May 2010
$321m science boost announced
Research, science and technology will be a major recipient of funding with the Government pumping $321 million into the sector in next week’s budget. Prime Minister John Key announced today the funds have been allocated for new initiatives over the next four years, of which $225m is new funding and $96m is reprioritised.
“The budget will focus squarely on building faster and sustainable economic growth – it’s the only way we can create the jobs, higher incomes and the better living standards New Zealanders deserve,” Mr Key says. “Research, science and technology will help us achieve that goal.” NZPA
### tvnz.co.nz 8:16AM Tue May 11, 2010
Big spend on research, science and technology
Source: ONE News/NZPA
Bright sparks are getting a helping hand from the government in one of its biggest spending pledges. Nine days out from Finance Minister Bill English delivering his second Budget, he has revealed the government will pump $321 million into research, science and technology. The government says a large chunk of that will help medium and large businesses to grow.
Read more + Video
Post by Elizabeth Kerr