Lincoln University and AgResearch welcome Joint Facility funding

Lincoln University and AgResearch are welcoming an announcement today by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Paul Goldsmith, ensuring the go-ahead of the $206 million Joint Facility for learning and research to be based on Lincoln University’s campus.

The Government has agreed to provide Lincoln University with $85 million to support its construction, and has approved the project’s detailed business case.

The decision heralds the next step towards a new collaborative way of working between the two partners, and a focus point for the Lincoln Hub where Lincoln University academics and students work alongside researchers from a range of CRIs, international tertiary institutions and primary industry business partners on solutions to national and international food production and environmental challenges.

Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor Professor Robin Pollard said the Government’s investment in this facility is not only a major step forward in promoting new value in New Zealand’s primary sector economy, but represents a significant sign of confidence in the future of Lincoln University, which has played a globally noteworthy role in land-based sciences and innovation for over 140 years.

“This new facility offers students new ways of learning and employment opportunities for those interested in environmental and land-based sciences, and advances Lincoln University’s mission to be a major global leader in land-based learning and research,” he said.

It is part of AgResearch’s programme of campus development across the country and will provide its largest South Island base.

AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson said it is pleasing to see the university’s part of the funding equation now in place following funding approved for AgResearch’s part in the joint facility last year.

“There is now real momentum for the partnership with Lincoln University as joint owners of the new facility, and for DairyNZ as a tenant. The design plans we’ve come up with so far confirm to me that we are going to have a world-class facility starting construction later this year,” Dr Richardson said.

“Not only does this joint facility signal a new era for us in working together to produce better science and education, it demonstrates a commitment to delivering to a new standard for the land-based industries that are so crucial to New Zealand’s economy and quality of life. With so much of New Zealand’s forecast economic growth dependent on the

value of our agricultural products in the coming decades, we have to support those industries to remain world leaders.”

“There’s no question that facilities of this quality will also help attract the very best talent for the sector, and will encourage other organisations and businesses to connect with us so they can also benefit from this new way of working.”

The Lincoln University AgResearch Joint Facility is scheduled for practical completion by  2019. Early works will start in the coming weeks on the site.