A decision not to transfer $20 million worth of research
to the University of Otago is yet another blow to research
capability connected to the South, Dunedin North MP David Clark
A decision to transfer 30 Lower Hutt-based scientists from
Callaghan Innovation's carbohydrate chemistry group (CCG),
which works on drugs for cancer and other diseases, to
Victoria University over Otago was ''all but signed off'', Dr
However, a spokesman for Callaghan Innovation said it was in
negotiations with Victoria University, but a final decision
was yet to be made.
Dr Clark said given the work the scientists were doing, Otago
University was in a better position to take them on, along
with $20 million of research funding over three years, he
''The natural home of these scientists is Otago. The clinical
environments available at Otago University are only matched
The decision was yet another ''blow'' to research capability
connected to the South, and ''hot on the heels of the
recently announced plan to transfer 82 collaborating
scientists away from the Invermay AgResearch site in Otago'',
Dr Clark said.
A spokesman for Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce
said he understood a decision was yet to be made on the CCG.
''It is important to note that the CCG is, and will remain,
based at Gracefield in Lower Hutt regardless of which
university provider it transfers to, and it would continue to
be collaborate closely with all its current research
partners,'' he said.
A spokesman for Callaghan Innovation said it was negotiating
a possible transfer of its CCG to Victoria University, but a
final decision was yet to be made.
It had had ''conversations'' with a number of ''possible
receiving organisations'' and both Otago and Victoria were
''outstanding'' candidates to take on the team.
However, there were ''some advantages'' to affiliating with a
The transfer of the research team comes after Callaghan
Innovation announced this year it would be focusing on
Otago University declined to comment, deputy vice-chancellor,
research and enterprise, Prof Richard Blaikie saying it was a
''commercially sensitive matter''.