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AgResearch’s Future Footprint Programme (FFP) has reached another milestone with the Government’s approval of the organisation’s updated business case.
“This is excellent news for AgResearch and the science community. The FFP will have long-term benefits for the way that agricultural science is done in New Zealand,” Chief Executive Tom Richardson says.
“The $133.3m investment programme approved by the Government will modernise our facilities; and co-locate staff doing complementary work at our Palmerston North and Lincoln campuses in innovation hubs with other partners.”
The business case was updated earlier this year to include expanded plans for the programme since it was first approved by Government in 2013.
“We’ve done a lot more work with research and sector partners to expand the scope of innovation hubs. This has resulted in more ambitious plans with a wider range of partners and increased the scope of our building plans,” says Dr Richardson.
This includes the formation of the Lincoln Hub (involving Lincoln University, AgResearch, DairyNZ, Landcare Research and Plant and Food Research) and FoodHQ based in Palmerston North. Smaller regional research centres will be maintained by AgResearch in Hamilton (Ruakura) and Dunedin (Invermay).
“New Zealand agriculture needs science innovation and collaboration to remain internationally competitive. The hubs will support this,” says Dr Richardson.
AgResearch expects to begin major construction programmes later this year at Lincoln and Palmerston North.