Monday, 19 December 2016 11:48am
Otago Museum and the University of Otago are entering what is effectively their second 150 years of engagement with a redeveloped Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The University has signed a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Otago Museum, formalising the relationship between the two institutions.
The new five-year MoU, signed recently by Museum Director Dr Ian Griffin and University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne is designed to contribute to the research, teaching and community services of both institutions through collaborative activity.
"From the University's perspective this is recognition of the knowledge, expertise and resources the Otago Museum offers," Professor Hayne says.
"We have often tapped into that in the past and this Memorandum of Understanding is a way of updating and formalising an already close relationship."
"From the University's perspective this is recognition of the knowledge, expertise and resources the Otago Museum offers."
Dr Griffin says he is delighted and honoured to have signed the MoU on the Museum's behalf.
"The University of Otago has a storied history of world-class research and teaching innovation, and to this day its researchers are pushing back the frontiers of knowledge in many areas of academia. Having direct access to some of the great minds of this generation enables the Museum team to develop exhibitions and programmes that seek to inspire the next generation of creative Kiwis," he says.
"As both institutions approach their 150th birthdays it’s appropriate that we re-state and renew our partnership. While I’m delighted at some of the achievements our partnership has made over the past three years, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few years."
University of Otago Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Richard Blaikie is also looking forward to building on a long and fruitful relationship.
"The MoU is significant for the strong framework it provides for engagement with the Museum across several academic divisions, principally Humanities, Sciences and Science Communication, where both organisations share international strengths."
“The MoU is significant for the strong framework it provides for engagement with the Museum across several academic divisions, principally Humanities, Sciences and Science Communication, where both organisations share international strengths.
“The partnership offers considerable collaborative opportunities for our researchers to be engaged with high quality research using the Museum's excellent collections, as well as for high impact community projects."
Recent collaborative projects have involved the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies (a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence) and Genetics Otago (a University of Otago Research Centre), through the Unlocking Curious Minds initiative and outreach activity such as ‘Lab in a Box’.
They have also been working with the University's Centre for Science Communication on a number of projects, including the Well Balanced exhibition currently on display at the Museum, developed in collaboration with the National Science Challenge ‘Ageing Well’.
The MoU with Otago Museum also complements a recent MoU which the University signed with The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa which is aimed to achieve better outcomes in education and research. Along with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Humanities Professor Tony Ballantyne, and the Director of the Centre for Science Communication Professor Nancy Longnecker, the Director of the Otago Museum is also a member of the joint Steering Group which drives the strategic relationship between the University and Te Papa.