Recognising Tasmania's outstanding science research specialists Fri 24 August 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology The achievements of some of Tasmania's top science researchers have been recognised at the inaugural Tasmanian Science Excellence Awards held at Parliament House today. The Awards showcase the local achievements of the unique science research and technological talents present in the State, as well as highlight the importance of science research for the growth of Tasmania's community and economy. The Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, David O'Byrne, said the awards were an important way to recognise Tasmania's world-class researchers. "We have every reason to be proud of our achievements in the field of science and research - it's a vital sector for Tasmania, contributing more than half a billion dollars to our economy, and generating employment for more than 3,500 people," he said. "It's an honour to be here today to present these awards, which recognise some of the top achievements in the field." Two awards were presented at the ceremony, the Minister's Science Innovation Award and the Premier's Tasmanian Scientist of the Year Award. Scantex was awarded the Minister's Science Innovation Award for its simply-operated system to detect homemade explosives as well as certain organics explosives. "By a developing a system that can make air travel safer, Scantex has shown a commitment to innovation that is to be commended," Mr O'Byrne said. The Premier's Award for the Tasmanian Scientist of the Year was presented to Professor Paul Haddad for his outstanding contribution to separation science. "Professor Haddad has shown great leadership in his field and I believe we are truly blessed to have such talent living and working among us," Mr O'Byrne said. "His talent, commitment and drive embodies all that is great about our scientific community." Mr O'Byrne said all finalists and winners today have shown the significant role that Tasmania's scientific leaders play in the state. "Our support for science research has also been highlighted in the Economic Development Plan, which recognises both the important contribution science and research makes to our economy, and the potential to grow this sector even further. "This is also the premise for the development of the science research strategy, Reaching Our Potential: Developing Tasmania's Science Research Capability, due for release later this year."