Invermay involved in funded research projects

Invermay researchers are involved in two of six projects being led by AgResearch which have attracted government funding.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce recently announced the results of the 2013 science investment round, with the Government investing $278 million in 51 research programmes.

There were 31 bids granted in the Biological Industries Research Fund and AgResearch was lead researcher in six of those bids, with the project teams spread across all its campuses, an AgResearch spokeswoman said.

The bids were submitted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in early April and were the result of work which began last year, she said.

AgResearch is proposing to centralise its operations on Lincoln and Palmerston North, with jobs at Invermay dropping from 115 to 30, and 180 jobs going from Ruakura, near Hamilton. The final decision on the structure of the Crown Research Institute will be known on September 26.

Invermay researchers will be involved with projects to boost exports of the emerging New Zealand dairy sheep industry, and genomics for production and security in a biological economy.

Ruakura will lead three of the projects - boosting exports of the dairy sheep industry, which has received total funding of $5.7 million over six years, dairy goat supply systems ($7.3 million over six years) and microbes from inner space: symbioses for greater productivity ($983,814 over two years; Lincoln will lead two - improving forage legume-rhizobia performance ($7.2 million over six years) and next-generation biopesticides - allowing New Zealand to meet global demands for residue-free produce and sustainable production system ($10.9 million over six years); and Grasslands (Palmerston North) will lead one - genomics for production and security in a biological economy ($9.9 million over six years).

The University of Otago is also involved with two of the projects - dairy sheep and dairy goat supply systems.

In the largest programme to receive funding, DairyNZ will lead a national $24 million project ($21 million from the Government with additional funds from the industry) to reduce nitrate leaching losses from dairy, arable, beef, sheep and mixed farm business.


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