Pukekohe man chases $5000 prize

Pukekohe resident Peter Cheong has been announced as one of 12 finalists for the 2015 AMP IGNITE competition which called for PhD students with an innovative quest to change the world to pitch their research project to a live audience with the chance to win up to $5,000 to help further their research.
Peter’s PhD is based around harnessing the secrets of Mother Nature’s little helper, fungus, towards sustainable farming and healthier food.
He is aiming to create a fungus which produces deadly compounds which kill pest insects in 24 hours.
His research will provide options for farmers to use natural products to control pest insects on crops, meaning farmers will not have to pay for immediate and efficacious solutions to pest control.
Additionally, consumers will not have to worry about the pesticide levels in their food or the detrimental effect of synthetic pesticides – leading to a safer environment and continuous supply of clean water as well.
Peter, who describes himself as “loving dogs, bacon, snowboarding, ants and microbes” will have just 150 seconds to pitch his idea to a panel of judges in an entertaining performance evening on June 8.
Peter will be competing against his peers through a combination of storytelling, performance art, dance, comedy, music or even magic.
Shaun Philp, General Manager Human Resources, at AMP says: “We had a great response to our call for entries across the country, and we are looking forward to hearing all of the finalists outline their aspiration to help make New Zealand a better place with the contribution their research can make.”

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