EcoGene Landcare Research director wins award

July 28, 2011

A director of Landcare Research’s DNA diagnostic facility, EcoGene®, has won the inaugural Women in Science Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Pacific Channel, New Zealand’s leading venture development and investment firm and the Association for Women in the Sciences (AWIS).

Dr Dianne Gleeson, who oversees the fast-growing EcoGene® business which provides DNA-based diagnostics services that are used in biosecurity and conservation, said she was delighted to win the award.

“This award recognises the contribution made by women in the commercialisation of science and will encourage more women at the top levels of the industry where they are underrepresented,” Dr Gleeson said.

“There is growing commercial demand for scientific services, and women can make a valuable contribution to the development of the industry in New Zealand and overseas,” she said.

Dr Gleeson receives $50,000 of venture development advice from Pacific Channel, an Auckland-based firm specialising in life-sciences and clean-technology, and will have access to a world-class international advisory board with experience in science commercialisation. The winner was announced at the AWIS conference being held in Auckland on 28 July.

Runners up for the award were Dr Fern Kelly, a PhD graduate in Textile Chemistry from Victoria University, who has developed an environmentally friendly antibacterial treatment for high quality natural textiles and Rachael D’Arcy Lacy, of D’Arcy Polychrome Limited who has developed a technology to produce encapsulated dry colour pigments that are easy to formulate and mix into liquid paint.