Renowned scientist receives IRL Industry and Outreach Fellowship

IRL has appointed Professor Juliet Gerrard, a biochemist and leader in the industrial application of biochemistry in New Zealand as its second Industry and Outreach Fellow. IRL’s Industry and Outreach Fellowships have been established as part of IRL’s drive to strengthen links between the research and high-value manufacturing organisations. “New Zealand’s economic success depends on our ability to get greater coordination and alignment across our research and industry sectors. One area of significant potential is through greater mobility of highly talented people,” says Shaun Coffey, IRL Chief Executive. The Industry and Outreach Fellowships attract leaders from the research sector into IRL to develop areas of scientific research and assist with their application to industry.
Professor Gerrard, who runs the Biomolecular Interaction Centre at the University of Canterbury, has held a number of significant positions in recognition of her scientific work and has recently been appointed Chair of the Marsden Council. Professor Gerrard sees the overall strategic aim of the Industry and Outreach Fellowship programme as boosting collaboration. “There is a lot of research being done in both universities and industry and I’d like to bridge that gap between fundamental and applied work,” she says. “By collaborating with IRL I believe that we will be able to achieve this.” Professor Gerard’s track record includes stints working for Crop and Food Research Ltd, and conducting research for the likes of Fonterra. She is also a principal investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Riddet Institute and has been on a number of editorial boards for scientific journals. She has written over 100 journal articles.
IRL Industry and Outreach Fellows are initially appointed for a five-year term and are mandated to resolve industry-related problems while building links between research institutions and business. IRL's first fellowship was awarded to Professor Shaun Hendy, who is building a complex system modelling group at IRL with the aim of characterising, modelling and understanding the New Zealand innovation ecosystem and its relationship with the world economy.