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AgResearch extends international links


AgResearch extends international links

19 March 2008

The signing of an agreement with the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) today further extended AgResearch’s network of key relationships with world-class R&D providers, says AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Andrew West.

Based in Edinburgh, and with offices and laboratories all around Scotland, SAC is an innovative, knowledge-based organisation that supports the development of Scottish land-based industries and communities. It undertakes research and development and provides education and training as well as expert advisory and consultancy services.

AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Andrew West signed the Memorandum of Understanding with SAC Chief Executive and Principal, Professor Bill McKelvey, at the Crown Research Institute’s Ruakura campus in Hamilton.

Professor McKelvey is a past President of the Society for the Study of Animal Breeding, a past member of the Council of the British Veterinary Association and has been Chief Executive Officer and Principal of the SAC since 2002. In the UK he is a member of the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Agriculture Strategy Group and the Scottish Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Group.

Dr West says both organisations stand to gain by formalising the relationship. “Both organisations are recognised leaders in pastoral sector R&D and each has its distinct strengths. I believe that the synergies created as a result of working together will benefit farmers in Scotland and New Zealand.”

He says the Scottish Agricultural College’s emphasis on agricultural and related sciences, rural business development and management, food chain quality and safety, and rural resource and environmental management means researchers at both organisations will have much to gain from the agreement.

Under the agreement AgResearch and SAC will collaborate around specific research projects such as in sheep genetics and animal welfare, staff exchange programmes as well as seminar programmes and conferences.

Dr West says he is looking forward to the development of a significant, enduring relationship. “It is important that AgResearch collaborates not only with R&D providers in New Zealand but also has a view to collaboration with the international research community. By doing this we can encourage and provide the best solutions for New Zealand’s pastoral sector.”

Professor McKelvey said “It is excellent to formalise a number of links with AgResearch that have been developed between our respective teams of Scientists – we can both learn from each others’ experiences and, together, address a number of the key problems facing our agricultural industries.

The MOU with SAC comes on top of an MOU signed with the Scottish Moredun Research Institute of Animal Health, last month.

ENDS

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