Following the Food HQ launch, AgResearch’s chief executive Dr Tom Richardson announced a proposal to reinvest $100 million into its campus facilities and resources, including Ruakura where its meat research has traditionally been based.
The plans are that there will be two large campuses – one in Palmerston North focusing on food, nutrition, animal health and forage; the other will be in Lincoln focusing on farm systems and land use, as well as sheep, beef and deer productivity, supported by the AgResearch ‘-omics’ platform (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics).
“These locations have the right ingredients to create successful innovation hubs; the presence of agriculture-focused tertiary institutions, other large research organisations, industry bodies and private sector companies,” says Richardson.
Activities at the two smaller campuses, Invermay near Dunedin and Ruakura Hamilton will focus on specific environmental and farm systems regional needs. About 180 roles are proposed to move from Hamilton, where meat research activity has traditionally been located, leaving about 90 there.
AgResearch’s executive team will be based at Lincoln, it is proposed, “on the grounds that Canterbury has a much larger population base for retention and recruitment purposes.”
No one will be required to relocate until 2016. Final decisions are expected by September.