Partnerships funded prior to 2017

Current and recently completed Partnerships and their research objectives.

Accelerated breeding with integrated genomic selection

Public statement:

Forestry is a significant industry in New Zealand, contributing an annual gross income of around $5 billion, 3% of New Zealand’s GDP, and directly employing around 20,000 people. The New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA) aims for forestry to be New Zealand’s leading export industry and a top five global supplier by 2025 and seeks to double productivity by 2035 through a combination of advanced genetics and minimisation of losses from disease (NZFOA 2012a). To lift the game to this extent, forestry science faces the challenge of creating a step-change in the wood growing industry. In this new programme the Radiata Pine Breeding Company Ltd (RPBC) will integrate genomic selection (GS) with forward selection and regional clonal testing as the key intervention to double genetic gain per unit time and halve the deployment time of new, genetically-improved, planting stock in commercial forests. It augments the thrust of the existing Consortium and will optimise impacts, and speed delivery of forest sector and national benefits. The new programme aligns fully with the MBIE investment objectives for the Biological Industries 2013 Sector Investment Plan.
In five years, it will:

  • Deliver the first genotyping SNP Panel or assay for estimating genomic breeding values in radiata pine;
  • Implement forward selection in radiata pine breeding;
  • Shorten the breeding and deployment cycle from 25-30 years to 10-15 years. 

Apple Futures II: Developing and future-proofing phytosanitary access to high-value Asian export markets

Public statement:

This research underpins the pipfruit sector’s goal of doubling exports to become a $1B export sector by 2022. It enables meaningful access into high value, risk-averse Asian markets by developing new knowledge of sanitary and phytosanitary pests and pathogens (including human food pathogens) and new control measures. Integrating these into a systems approach for pest and pathogen control at critical points will reduce risks throughout the production pathway. Quantification of risks will provide the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) with the evidence needed to negotiate less restrictive measures.
Pipfruit NZ Inc. (PNZI, and Plant & Food Research (PFR) have a strong record of developing market access solutions. PNZI will provide governance to prioritise and review the research with stakeholders and MPI.

The research develops new control measures for pests and pathogens that affect access for NZ apples, including:

  • New semiochemicals that exploit female and male attraction, which will be developed into ‘residue-free’ control systems for key pests
  • New knowledge of pathogen infection processes and detection systems to manage latent infection risks in crops using new control methods
  • New high-speed image detection of pest- or pathogen-affected fruit during grading to reduce their incidence in consignments
  • New food-grade compounds as disinfestation treatments for markets requiring fumigation measures, to provide alternatives to methyl bromide
  • New knowledge of the microbial safety of packed apples, relevant to all sectors exporting fresh produce.

Improved market access arising from this research will add $223M p.a. to sector growth by 2022 and avoid food safety risks that could undermine the sector’s ‘100% Pure Apples from NZ’ reputation.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand genetics

Public statement

Animal improvement is central to the wealth of our nation. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics (BLG) is an amalgamation a genomics research organisation (Ovita), genetic evaluation service (Sheep Improvement Limited), and a scheme that compares top sheep genetics across farms (Central Progeny Test). BLG will enable a more profitable and competitive sheep and beef industry, better able to utilise natural resources by using the best technologies and capabilities available. An emphasis is to quantify and optimize genetic quality, with regard to environment and NZ farming systems, to produce sustainably premium food products in response to consumer demand.

This will be achieved through a programme that develops and uses technologies, such as genomics, electronics, and computing, to ensure the sustainable profitability of the industry through faster, and more focussed genetic improvement. It addresses key issues related to productivity, product quality and robustness of animals to different environments.

Industry will be better posed to mitigate risk by targeting breeding to meet the challenges posed by instability in the environment and marketplace. In addition to farmers in general, BLG underpins entrepreneurial activities by business savvy farmers, who understand the value of genetics and the marketplace. BLG will also support one-to-one R&D partnerships with larger corporate entities looking to apply genetic technology in their value chains.

Knowledge gained includes: understanding new traits that affect profit and the molecular basis that drives variation; architecture of the sheep genome; genetic relationships among traits that drive profit and how they interact with the environment; industry knowledge that will enable us to rationally allocate resources to best implement developments; and knowledge to optimise solutions for breeding of beef and sheep in NZ given changes in the economy, society and markets.

Direct mitigation solutions for methane and nitrous oxide from NZ agriculture

Public statement

This programme aims to develop a suite of implementation-ready, practical technologies for use by pastoral farmers to significantly reduce, by direct mitigation, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without negatively impacting farm productivity. This programme builds on new knowledge gained in previous Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Consortium (PGgRc) led contracts METH0201 and METH0701. These programmes sequenced the first rumen methanogen genome, estimated the genetic heritability of low methane (CH4) emissions in sheep and proved that ruminants can produce antibodies to specific methanogen proteins. Other achievements include the identification of CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O) reducing feeds and the discovery of novel compounds that inhibit methanogens.

NZ’s international obligations have resulted in a national target of reducing GHG emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. As 47% of NZ’s GHG emissions arise from agriculture, the Pastoral Industry has a key role in meeting this challenge. Agriculture also has a critical role in the NZ economy, currently accounting for 47% of NZ’s merchandise exports. With a growing and more affluent world population, the NZ dairy and red meat sectors have set product output growth targets in the order of 2% p.a. to exploit new opportunities. When agriculture joins the Emissions Trading Scheme (perhaps as early as 2015), NZ will have a total estimated ‘liability’ of $272m. Unless technical solutions are found to reduce agricultural emissions, the cost to the NZ economy will only increase. Indirect mitigation, achieved through incremental efficiency gains (i.e. indirect mitigation) will be insufficient for NZ to simultaneously meet industry production targets and avoid substantial costs arising from international commitments to reduce GHG emissions. Hence, direct mitigation strategies, those that reduce emissions per unit of substrate (e.g. unit of feed eaten or unit of nitrogen deposited) are also needed. As major pastoral sector stakeholders with values of kaitiakitanga, Māori will also be beneficiaries of the research outcomes from this programme.

PGgRc and NZAGRC have developed a joint R&D&E strategy. This strategy and MBIE’s 2011-12 Biological Industries Sector Investment Plan drive the direction of this programme. Eligible co-funding from industry partners is supplemented by additional direct aligned funding by AgResearch and the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC).
The research is a component of the ‘NZ Inc. Towards 2030 Framework’ for agricultural GHG reduction. This Framework incorporates investments in direct and indirect mitigation, farmer extension and inventory activities to collectively enable the ambitious goal of reducing agricultural GHG emissions below 1990 levels by 2030 whilst maintaining a pastoral growth target of 2% p.a. PGgRc is vital to this framework as, in collaboration with the NZAGRC, it is the major investor in direct mitigation R&D.

Johne's Disease research consortium

Public statement:

Johne's Disease is a chronic, wasting disease of ruminant animals caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium avium Paratuberculosis (MAP); estimated in 1998 to cost NZ $44-88 Million annually. The Johne's Disease Research Consortium (JDRC) is a collaborative venture between Beef+Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, DEEResearch, AgResearch, Massey University, University of Otago, Livestock Improvement Corporation and MSI. The Meat Industry Association and Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand are associate participants in JDRC. JDRC is collaborating with Landcorp Farming Limited, Johne’s Management Limited and the New Zealand Merino Company to support specific research projects.

The aim of JDRC is to develop practical solutions for cost effective ways of reducing the impact of Johne’s disease on farm; supporting the beef, deer, dairy and sheep industries.

Contact Person: or

Kiwifruit Cultivar Development Research Consortium

Public statement:

The Kiwifruit New Cultivar Consortium, a partnership between Zespri International and the New Zealand Government, has provided the basis of the recovery plan of the New Zealand gold kiwifruit industry from the Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae (Psa) disease outbreak. The once pivotal cultivar for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, ‘Hort16A’, has been very heavily impacted by Psa with only 300 hectares (13%) of Hort16A remaining in production this year. The recovery pathway for the New Zealand gold kiwifruit industry has been dependent on identifying more Psa-tolerant kiwifruit cultivars. ‘Gold3’ has been identified from work in this Consortium as the best possible replacement for ‘Hort16A’.

Zespri has now released over three thousand hectares of ‘Gold3’ licence to New Zealand growers. Psa tolerance of the new cultivar remains under close observation but to date the tolerance of the cultivar to Psa looks very promising relative to other gold-fleshed kiwifruit cultivars. Commercial ‘Gold3’ plantings in Europe are also being expanded to provide year-round supply of the product to international markets. Sales in 2014 from new cultivars generated by this Consortium now total over $260 million for the three cultivars that have been released to date. We expect strong growth from these new cultivars with sales forecast to exceed $1 billion by 2025. This outcome will contribute strongly to the New Zealand ‘Export Double’ targets, and clearly demonstrates the value being generated from the investment into this Consortium. A new rootstock released by the Consortium, ‘Bounty71’, has been enthusiastically received by the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. It is still too early to conclude how this rootstock will perform when a range of cultivars are used as the scion, and how it will perform in different environments. With promising cultivars in the development pipeline it can be expected that the Outcome Benefits from this Consortium are only just starting to be realized.

Lifting farm profit and production while reducing environmental footprint

Public statement: 

The aim of P21 has been to provide the pastoral sector access to adoptable solutions for profitably increasing production while reducing the environmental footprint. After 5 years, we have been able to demonstrate substantial reductions in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses from pastoral dairy systems (20-40%, based on measurement and modelling), but with little effect on farm productivity and profitability.

The last 5 years of P21-II have produced the following successful outcomes:

  • Developed and demonstrated practical, adoptable farm systems solutions for substantially reducing the losses of N and P from dairy systems.
  • Demonstrated at small-scale that there are options for the sheep and beef sector to improve early spring feed supply and summer/autumn feed quality.
  • Clearly demonstrated, using modelling, the scope for lifting profit by differentiating management on contrasting land units on complex hill country farms.
  • Breakthrough technologies have demonstrated promise in targeting the urine patch to decrease N leaching.

While the large environmental gains achieved exceeded P21-II objectives, farm production and profit were only maintained at current benchmark levels.

In P21-II extension year and beyond, we believe we can retain the environmental gains and increase farm profitability with renewed focus on producing and demonstrating solutions for farmers that deliver increased farm income at lower cost, and solutions that lower the cost of environmental mitigation.

Themes being targeted in P21-II extension year include:

  • Boosting the productivity of legumes in challenging environments;
  • Designing more resilient pastoral farm systems;
  • Lifting animal performance from fodder crops and supplementary feeds;
  • Demonstrating new nitrogen management technologies for reducing nutrient losses; and
  • Delivering lower cost alternatives to off-paddock facilities for joint environmental and profit goals.

Meat Industry Research and Innovation Fund

Public statement:

The Meat Industry Research and Innovation Fund (MIRIF) aims to increase the productivity and profitability of the New Zealand sheep and beef industry. The meat industry currently exports products valued at $6.1 billion annually. Increases in the value of the products we export, mitigating risks to those exports, and improvements in productivity will bring significant returns to New Zealand. Projects are aimed at improving the quality and shelf-life of premium meat cuts; maintaining the meat industry's exemplary reputation for food safety (which is critical for continued exports); creating higher value protein-based products out of current lower-value by-products; and investigating improvements to meat processing productivity by the adoption of advanced technologies. The initiatives supported by the fund are expected to achieve an increase in exports of about $230 million through increased value products - equally as importantly, the fund will support R&D which mitigates significant potential risks to the industry.

This research fund fills a critical gap in meat sector R&D, which otherwise tends to be focused behind the farm-gate rather than on meat processing.

The fund will support a series of collaborative R&D projects which will be commercialised over the next ten years. The collaborative nature of the Partnership fund science programme will ensure that the innovation (and future gains) will be spread across the entire New Zealand Red Meat Processing industry. In all, it is expected that the partnership will fund a total of $8.7 million worth of research from 2015 to 2021.

New regional value chains for specialty wood products; Matching species, site, processing, product and market

Public statement:

Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest primary export earner, however, it relies heavily on a single species, radiata pine, and a minimal range of products, leaving the industry vulnerable to fluctuations in demand and the threat of pests and diseases. Alternative species were planted to reduce these risks, and this Partnership will develop a high-value specialty wood products industry from some of those species, namely eucalypts, Douglas-fir, and cypresses.

Global markets are demanding high-stiffness, naturally durable timbers, that avoid the need for preservative treatments. Colours associated with tropical species like teak are also desirable, as is a strong sustainability brand. Our specialty species could supply these markets however processing challenges, lack of scale and infrastructure, and geographically dispersed resources, have limited opportunities to date. There must be a sustainable harvest of sufficient volume from existing forest, or new forests, planted within economic range of processing plants and export ports, to ensure the viability of this new industry.

Our research will:

  • transform processing options for non-durable eucalypts, Douglas-fir, and cypresses to produce high-value specialty wood products;
  • develop much improved breeding stock that will overcome the current problems of growth strain, checking and collapse;
  • develop a new, naturally durable eucalypt resource; and
  • ensure forest health is an ongoing priority.

We will build new value chains in conjunction with our key investors who have existing routes to market through their international parent companies. This strategy would increase the competitiveness of the existing industry by generating a broader range of higher-value, better-performing products matched to specialty markets. We predict exports of $350M pa by 2030 into global markets, rising to $3.6B pa by 2050, as well as significant spill-over benefits from regional employment and a strong domestic market.

New Zealand Wool Consortium

Public statement:

The aim of this Consortium is to apply a co-ordinated industry approach to create consumer driven outcomes which add value, and support capture of that value, for the benefit of the NZ wool industry.

Wool is a major export product for NZ, with significant upside available from its current lowered base. This consortium will focus on increasing the value and competitiveness of selected NZ wool based activity through collaboration and support of industry built on leading edge R&D.

The Consortium will work with industry to develop, transfer and commercialise a range of innovations that are responsive to consumer trends. The ultimate benefits of increased export earnings flowing from this initiative will be realised throughout the wool fibre and textile value chains.

This Consortium will support the economic sustainability of the industry through:

  • Developing a collaborative culture within the industry
  • Attracting industry involvement and investment in R&D
  • Building demand through providing authenticated evidence of wool’s natural benefits, and positive environmental and health performance
  • Building value through new products and improved performance of existing wool products
  • Ensuring that industry capture the value created through exploitation of the IP generated from its investment

The Consortium has the clear backing and guidance of the NZ wool industry - the proposed R&D programme draws directly from that industry input. The Consortium will invest in “industry good” areas where the outcomes will be generally available for NZ wool users, as well as in “company specific” projects. Where commercial companies submit their confidential proposals along with significant cofunding they will be supported and have preferred access to the outcomes generated from the combined funding. In both cases the route to market will be through partnering with established companies by involving them from project design through to commercialisation, to ensure that the R&D is market led, adoptable and optimised.

The benefits flowing directly from this consortium initiative will be both financial and social. The Consortium represents a new collaborative culture for the wool industry that will enable the formation of strong and integrated wool production, processing and marketing value chains. Increased demand for wool will assist in the economic sustainability of NZ’s rural communities. With Government co-investment in wool-related R&D, innovations in NZ wool processes and products will lead to significant increases in export receipts with returns flowing back down the value chain ultimately to the primary producers. The benefits will derive from the following research themes:

  • Securing wool’s position as a sustainable, natural fibre
  • Minimising and eliminating obstacles to wool’s use and performance
  • Exploiting wool’s positive intrinsic characteristics.

Ovine Automation Consortium

Public statement:

Ovine Automation Consortium has already gone to market with two robotic machines, automated brisket cutting and evisceration with further commercialised technologies expected in the later part of 2014. Including the following; - Auto brisket roll, Technology that rolls the pelt back of the brisket. - Leg and brisket roll, Technology combines both the brisket roll function and the removal of the pelt from the forelegs. - Y-cut robot, designed to do the opening cuts on the forelegs Funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) and nine industry members, with the support of two research organisations, the research consortium aims to enhance sheep processing productivity and quality through the use of automation.

Meat industry processing company members of the consortium include: Alliance Group Ltd, Silver Fern Farms, ANZCO Foods, Blue Sky Meats, Auckland Meat Processors, Crusader Meats, Taylor Preston Ltd, Progressive Meats, and Ovation New Zealand Ltd with funding support in year one provided by MIRINZ Inc (jointly owned between Beef + Lamb and the MIA). The consortium research organisations are Callaghan Innovation and Milmeq Ltd.

Pastoral Genomics - Commercialising forage biotechnologies

Public statement:

Pastoral Genomics is a consortium of DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb New Zealand, DEEResearch, Grasslands Innovation, Agriseeds, AgResearch, and Dairy Australia. These pastoral industry-good entities, NZ forage seed companies, and leading forage research provider are united with a single strategy for the deployment of advanced forage biotechnologies that will deliver direct profitability gains to NZ farmers and create a more resilient pastoral sector for NZ’s future. The PG+ programme is the realization of that strategy.
The organization’s strategy is to use appropriate modern biotechnologies in relevant forage species to enhance value across all NZ pastoral farming systems and meet community expectations. The PG+ Partnership aims to unify and apply at scale forage breeding enhancements and complementary forage biotechnologies that are not regulated i.e. not GM. This will be achieved through:

  • Forages for enhanced animal performance by raising available yield and by matching seasonal distributions of pasture growth and quality to animals’ nutritional needs
  • Forages to improve on-farm efficiency of use of inputs (eg, water, nutrients and energy) that therefore reduce environmental impacts and cut costs
  • Forages with greater resilience from enhanced tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses (eg, drought, disease)

thereby, improving overall pastoral system productivity and profitability.

Pillars of a competitive and responsible dairy system: Improved longevity and reproductive performance

Public statement:

This new Partnership combines the key research providers in dairy science in New Zealand, capturing the intellectual horsepower of three universities, a crown research institute, a number of independent research organisations, and the dairy industry’s own research provider.

The Partnership will use the most modern technologies and new research platforms to investigate:

  • The prevalence of, and reasons for, premature mortality and health-related productivity losses in NZ dairy systems and how these are affected by farm management and nutrition, thereby improving the life of farmed animals and both the efficiency and sustainability of the industry.
  • Cow genetics and physiology underpinning reproductive failure, ensuring a 13% improvement in the number of animals pregnant within the optimal timeframe and, thereby, enhancing cow longevity.

This programme will increase milk production per cow and per hectare through improved cow health, reproductive success and cow longevity. Longer-term, these outcomes will lead to a reduction in dairying’s environmental footprint through reduced cow wastage.

The programme is well-aligned with the dairy industry’s strategic goals of improving productivity, sustainability and competitiveness, with the industry providing matching funding to ensure the partnership’s success. The projected improvements are conservatively estimated to be worth $1billion per annum to the New Zealand economy once the full impacts are embedded in farm systems.

In addition, the programme will train more than 10 emerging scientists and post-graduate students in the biological sciences. This has far-reaching consequences for the New Zealand science community, with the research platforms relevant to many other disciplines, including other livestock sectors and human reproductive health.

Pipfruit Research Consortium 2 - Fast-breeding novel traits in apple and pear to ensure a prosperous New Zealand industry

Public statement:

The $500 M pa NZ pipfruit export industry has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in new cultivar development that has contributed significantly to NZ’s economy. This research programme continues the new cultivar development pipeline for the industry with a focus on the fast breeding of apple and pear cultivars with new innovative traits. Key to future success is Prevar™, the shareholders of which are Pipfruit NZ Inc. (PNZI), Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) and Plant and Food Research, and is the organisation through which these new cultivars will be delivered to the NZ pipfruit industry and globally commercialised. Earlier delivery of cultivars with novelty and consumer appeal will ensure that the industry has major ‘first-mover’ advantage in the market place thus maximising the economic benefits to them and Prevar™.

This programme focuses on the target traits of high flavour, red flesh colour and durable in-plant resistances to key pipfruit diseases. It will develop and apply non-transgenic rapid-breeding approaches to integrate these traits with other important fruit quality and productivity traits to fast-track cultivars into commercial production from 2019. The new technologies include new selection tools based on plant DNA profiles, rapid non-destructive fruit phenotyping, new data analysis methodologies, facilitated by the use of new breeding field experimentation approaches and accelerated seedling growth and fruiting. Novel methods of determining consumer responses to new selections will be designed and a new commercial orchard testing system for elite selections will be established. Together they will drive commercialisation faster giving NZ export companies and growers greater knowledge of new cultivar performance and subsequent confidence to invest in new selections.

The multidisciplinary programme team combines skills in breeding and genetics, gene mapping and consumer science with capability in whole plant physiology. The team will leverage off key overseas collaborations in the areas of gene mapping and molecular breeding to deliver programme goals.

Precision driven health

Public statement:

This research looks to develop new intelligent clinical support packages and systems for New Zealand and for international markets.

Health delivery services around the world are facing the substantial challenge of improving patient outcomes with shrinking resources. Improved patient engagement in healthcare is a key factor in improved outcomes, which could be enhanced by effective use of information technology.

Further, as the information systems these organisations use become more sophisticated and data-rich, the expectation on clinicians to use all of this information continues to grow. New and improved products and services that maximise the use of data and provide the ability to transform it into meaningful insights in a clinically robust fashion are needed to meet the challenges of modern health care.

The research will focus on developing products and services in improving informed decision making and predictive patterns in clinical settings; precise, patient-centred health and exploring ways consumer generated and other high volume data can be included in patients’ medical records. The research will develop new methods and conceptual frameworks for data integration, data mining and multivariate analysis that will be applicable across the health sector and potentially in other fields.

Radiata Pine Breeding Research Consortium

Public statement:

Forestry is a significant industry in New Zealand that has a gross annual turnover of $5 billion and generates $3.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings. It is set to expand with the recovery of the world economy, and with growth in the emerging markets of carbon forestry, bioenergy, and biomaterials. The aim of the proposed programme is to ensure that returns to the New Zealand economy from an expanded forest industry are optimised through increased forest profitability. A joint FRST-industry investment of $14 million over 7 years is anticipated to deliver direct benefits with a PV in the order of $90 million to $145 million. In addition, RPBC is pursuing a major initiative to get genetic gain accepted as an input to the valuation of young forest stands. If successful, it will allow companies to capture asset values of up to $200 million (PV $100 million) that are currently not recognised until tree crops reach maturity.

The long timeframes of forestry, and particularly of tree breeding, mean that major advances in radiata pine genetics may take as long as 50 to 60 years before they have an impact in world markets. RPBC proposes a suite of research initiatives to moderate the impact of these long time horizons.

Specifically they aim to:

  • Accelerate genetic gain in those key tree characteristics and wood properties that will position radiata pine most favourably as a raw material for processing into high value products, and also align it to the requirements of the emerging carbon and biomaterials markets
  • Significantly reduce the time of the breeding and deployment cycle and thus get genetically-improved trees established more rapidly in production forests
  • Implement effective matching of genetics with site and environment to ensure that the best trees are planted on the best sites to optimise genetic gain
  • Develop an evidential base, and implement credible methodologies, for including genetic gain in forest estate valuations
  • Pursue continuing improvement in other traits such as pest and disease resistance through the ongoing breeding operations activities.

To achieve the above, the Consortium will extend its research coverage along the breeding and deployment value chain. Technological advances will be implemented at different points along the value chain, and against different timescales. To a large extent economic benefits will not be realised until several decades ahead, but they will be substantial, equating to at least an additional $180 million in forest harvest values per annum. With a projected commercial life of 20 years, the PV for benefits from genetic improvement and faster deployment is in the order of $90 million based on a conservative estimate of future planting rates. A return to modest growth in the forest estate will boost returns to a PV of some $145 million.

Resilient and profitable wine industry

Public statement:

The NZ wine industry is already world leading and this Programme will take the industry the next leap forward. New Zealand Winegrowers, together with Plant and Food Research Ltd and University of Auckland, will develop a world first ecosystem-based understanding of the interactions of plants and animals in the vineyard. They will use this understanding of the networks of effects in the vineyard, and the impacts of different management practices on the vineyard, to develop management regimes which minimise synthetic chemical use.

Māori own 3% of NZ vineyards and are an integral part of this Partnership. The research is informed by the ecosystem approach of the Māori world view, in which humans are connected physically and spiritually to land, water, air, forests.

The Programme will benefit New Zealand by driving new export revenue, estimated at a cumulative $2B by 2026, reducing amounts and costs of synthetic chemical usage and using eco-credentialing of wine to grow markets, maintain premium pricing and enhancing the distinctive NZ wine story. New Zealand wine is already a New Zealand success story. This Partnership will help ensure New Zealand wines business remain resilient and sustainable, and the industry’s upwards trajectory continues to climb.

Solid wood initiative

Public statement:

Solid Wood Innovation research is focused on the forest value chain from log and stem segregation (at the forest gate or mill yard) through to final product. The research targets benefits for both appearance and structural manufacturing companies and has 4 parts (Objectives or themes);

  • More sophisticated stem and log segregation to ensure the right log reaches the right processing plant and sawmillers understand how best to process it
  • More efficient manufacture of better performing structural products
  • Better performing appearance products matched to export markets and
  • Significantly reduced energy and water consumption in lumber drying.

Research Partners: Forest and Wood Products Australia Ltd, Weyerhaeuser USA, Scion, Nelson Management Ltd, PF Olsen Group Ltd, Tenon Ltd, Kaingaroa Timberlands, University of Canterbury, Winstone Pulp International Ltd, Flight Timbers Ltd, Juken NZ Ltd, Niagara Sawmilling Company Ltd, Northpine Ltd, OTC Timber Company Ltd, Pukepine Sawmills (1998) Ltd, Rosvall Sawmill Ltd, Taranaki Sawmills Ltd, Windsor Engineering Group Ltd, Jenkin Timber Ltd, Timbalink Ltd

Contact Person:

Sustainable futures for NZ lamb skin exports in new high value markets

Public statement:

The New Zealand Leather and Shoe Research Association (LASRA®) Ovine Consortium project aims to construct a new, lightweight footwear, ovine (sheep), leather export platform supported by sustainable production systems for NZ ovine skins that will deliver greater revenues to farmers and skin processors within the country, counter market threats, and help sustain the NZ sheep industry. The goal is to generate additional export returns of $125 million per annum by 2017.

The proposition is based on a transition from supplying the global garment leather market to supplying the more lucrative and more stable footwear market. Specific new performance qualities developed in the ovine skin will deliver high value attributes in the leather when coupled with novel strength enhanced properties developed from this research.

Transformation of the New Zealand seafood industry through ecosystem stock management, domestication of species, and market-driven quality enhancement

Public statement:

The seafood industry research partnership plan has three broad themes to:

  • Domesticate and diversify New Zealand’s premium aquaculture seafood species;
  • Measure and model marine ecosystems to maximise economic yields and sustainability; and
  • Grow exports of New Zealand seafood by enhancing market driven values.

This research will benefit New Zealand by:

  • Driving export growth and competitiveness in New Zealand seafood exporters;
  • Increasing sustainable seafood production while minimising environmental impacts; and
  • Increasing the diversity and value of seafood export products to meet global consumer preferences.

The NZ seafood industry will implement the results of successful research by direct investment in products, processes and systems that give effect to the fruits of the research. The ideas behind the research have been extensively explored in terrestrial biological industries. In the marine environment and the seafood context extensive new knowledge will be created, in some cases at the forefront of global knowledge. The seafood industry research partnership expects that approximately two thirds of the research effort will be contributed by a combination of Plant and Food Research, Cawthron Institute and NIWA. Eight other research providers are expected to contribute.

Māori interests control over 40% of the commercial wild fishery. Of the larger companies, Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd is 100% owned by Maori and Sealord is 50% owned by Maori. Iwi organisations are significant players in their own right as their share of the fisheries settlement is allocated to them by Te Ohu Kai Moana. These include Ngati Porou, Kahungunu, Ngapuhi and Ngai Tahu owned companies. The Maori Commercial Fisheries Settlement, guarantees Maori 20% of the quota for any new species introduced to the QMS. The Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act provided iwi with assets equivalent to 20% of the water space created in coastal waters since 1992 and includes rights equivalent to 20% of any new space approved for aquaculture from 2005. Maori will be significant beneficiaries of growth and innovation within the seafood industry.

A strong commitment to innovation in both aquaculture and wild fisheries, including well directed and effective R&D, will be an essential part of informing managers, policy makers and investors, both industry and government, as they build the investment confidence necessary to achieve the envisioned growth in the NZ seafood Industry.

R&D is expected to lead to breakthroughs in the production of iconic NZ seafood species, improved use of our marine environment to sustainably produce and export larger quantities of more valuable seafood, and to take New Zealand’s seafood to world markets as a premium high value and demonstrably sustainable seafood that will attract premium prices.

Wool Industry Research Ltd – New uses for wool

Public statement:

Wool has traditionally been a significant contributor to New Zealand’s economy, but has slowly been in decline due mainly to poor returns to growers, and increased competition for land use from forestry and latterly dairy. The majority of sheep farmed produce coarse diameter fibre for which the main use is in floorcoverings – broadloom carpets and rugs. Synthetic fibres have closed the functional performance advantages that wool previously held, so carpet manufacturers are able (and do) resist wool price pressure by simply substituting with alternative synthetic alternatives.

Before applying to MBIE for co-funding for this Partnership Programme, Wool Research Organisation of NZ Inc. surveyed and obtained unanimous endorsement from wool industry members of their intention to apply for the Partnership Programme funding, and also unanimous agreement on the need to find new high value and volume uses for NZ coarse wool.

The research programme embedded in this Partnership Programme is wholly structured to generate transformational opportunities for the coarse wool based industry. Whilst the Partnership will work with traditional manufacturing industries to develop and authenticate new technical textiles, the majority of the research investment seeks new ways to utilise wool as a source of high value keratin. The benefits will flow back to growers through improved wool price and demand, as well as to the new and existing NZ wool based value chains that will take the new materials to market.

The research is in 3 areas:

  • A basic research programme will underpin the Partnership through developing new knowledge about the natural structure and formation of wool fibre.
  • Discovery of effective ways to deconstruct the fibre and reconstitute it in a range of functional forms.
  • Optimising the performance and utilisation of the new materials in the range of forms and applications.
In this section