NZDRI Renamed Fonterra Research Centre
New Zealand's world-renowned Dairy Research Institute (NZDRI) is to be renamed the Fonterra Research Centre as part of the co-operative's alignment of Research & Development resources with the new business strategies of Fonterra.
Dr Chris Mallett, Fonterra's Director, Research & Development, said last year's dairy industry merger meant the new company could more effectively leverage the unique skills of Fonterra Research Centre into its growth strategy.
"Fonterra is vital to New Zealand's future and R&D is vital to Fonterra's future," Dr Mallett said. "The R&D structure we are putting in place is designed to weave technology and innovation into the fabric of Fonterra."
Dr Mallett, who has responsibility for leading the development and implementation of an R&D strategy and aligning Fonterra's R&D efforts across the group, said a new high-level Fonterra Innovation Group would be responsible for ensuring science and research are "inextricably linked" with the commercial objectives of NZMP, NEW ZEALAND MILK and Fonterra Enterprises.
"Where different business units have similar research needs, we will be looking to consolidate our efforts and capture synergies between them. The Group will involve leaders from each of the business units and will lead innovation across Fonterra."
Reporting to Dr Mallett will be six Technology Leaders with responsibility for different streams of research. The six streams are Intellectual Property, Food & Environmental Assurance, On-farm Productivity, Bioactives & Health, Food Systems and Process Technology.
"These six leaders will identify and fund the programmes, scientists and institutions that will deliver Fonterra's research priorities, and they will take a global approach in doing so."
Also reporting to Dr Mallett will be Dr Allan Anderson, the Chief Executive of the Fonterra Research Centre, the renamed New Zealand Dairy Research Institute.
"Over 75 years, the NZDRI has established an international reputation that is second-to-none in process and product development innovation," Dr Mallett said. "It is unique in the dairy world and it will continue to be the cornerstone of Fonterra's research effort."
Dr Mallett said it was important Fonterra protected this capability within the company and in New Zealand. "The Fonterra Research Centre will ensure we continue to have core scientific competencies within the company, it protects our knowledge and it delivers cost efficiencies and synergies. It is a vital asset to Fonterra and to New Zealand."
Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd is New Zealand's largest private-sector investor in Research & Development, with an annual budget of approximately NZ$110 million. Of this, approximately NZ$35 million is spent within the Fonterra Research Centre.