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Industrial Research Appoints New CEO

27 April 2006

Industrial Research Appoints New CEO

Shaun Coffey

Crown-owned technology company, Industrial Research Limited (IRL), today announced that it had appointed Shaun Coffey to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Coffey comes to IRL from Australia’s CSIRO, where he has been since 1995, most recently as Foundation Chief of its second largest division, CSIRO Livestock Industries (CLI), a role he has held since its formation in May 2000.

As head of the Livestock Industries Division, Australia’s equivalent of AgResearch, Mr Coffey was responsible for managing over 500 staff and achieving revenues of approximately AUD$100 million. In the past six years he has re-positioned CLI to become the acknowledged leader in Australian animal research and innovation.

In addition to work within Australia, he has controlled major research and development projects in many parts of Asia and Africa, and international joint-projects in the USA, Canada, North Asia and Europe on behalf of CSIRO. His division has built major linkages with the NIH in USA, Genome Canada, OIE, FAO, IAEA and the Wellcome Trust.
He has served on a number of Boards over the last five years, including Food Science Australia (incorporating the Australian Food Industry Science Centre, the Beef CRC (Cooperative Research Centre), the Biosecurity CRC and Betabiotics Ltd. He has also represented Australia on the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau (CABI) Executive.

Previous roles include five years with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries as Director of Research and Extension and five years as the Executive Director of the Australia Cattlemen’s Union.

“Shaun Coffey is a seasoned CEO with extensive experience managing research and development organisations, large numbers of scientists and scientific outcomes, and the Board of IRL is delighted to have found a candidate of his calibre,” says Chair, Liz Coutts. “During his tenure at CLI he has provided a high level of strategic leadership and direction to the Division that has enabled it to carry out and deploy research to generate world-class applications for the benefit of Australian industry and the Australian community. We look forward to his applying the same skills and drive to benefit IRL, New Zealand and its communities.”

Although the Livestock Division is in the agribusiness sector, many of the biotechnology programmes and initiatives that Shaun has overseen are in areas closely related to IRL’s activities. These include bioactives, bioprocessors and nanotechnology.

“The attractions of this role include the stand-alone CEO responsibility of reporting directly to a Board and of driving commercial initiatives into international markets,” says Coffey. “I have a high level of respect for New Zealand’s CRIs and the commercial structure under which they operate. I am particularly impressed by the ability of New Zealand’s CRIs to harness great science and apply technology and to focus on international opportunities for exploiting that technology.”

Mr Coffey will take up his role on 31 July 2006.

The Board extends its thanks to Dr Tony Price who has been Acting Chief Executive for the last five months.


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