Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


$26 Million Investment Recognises Ground-Breaking Research


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
16 November 2012

$26 Million Investment Recognises Ground-Breaking Research

Cawthron Institute’s ground-breaking research to domesticate the New Zealand GreenshellTM mussel now has a vehicle to take it to market thanks to a new $26 million agreement announced yesterday, the Cawthron Institute says.

The Ministry for Primary Industries and SPATnz have signed a seven year innovation contract to selectively breed mussel spat at the Cawthron Aquaculture Park north of Nelson, using research established by Cawthron’s MBIE-funded Cultured Shellfish Programme. The announcement was made during Prime Minister John Key’s official visit to Cawthron in Nelson yesterday.

“It’s fantastic that research into product enhancement for GreenshellTM mussels will now be able to be used to benefit the New Zealand mussel industry and help it take off internationally,” Cawthron Chief Executive Professor Charles Eason says. “It’s possibly the most exciting thing to happen in the mussel industry for decades – it will propel it forward.”

The new contract will see $13 million each of public and industry funding invested in the project. It has been hailed as the most significant research, development and commercialisation investment made in New Zealand’s GreenshellTM mussel industry since the first marine farms were established in the 1970s.

Professor Eason says the initiative is an excellent example of how industry and science can work together to add value to New Zealand’s existing food export products.

“Mussels are a comparatively low value, high volume product and our goal through scientific advancements and industry collaboration has been to turn it into a high value product,” Professor Eason says. “New Zealand’s strength is in food production and it’s essential, if we want to continue to stand out from the rest of the world, that we maintain a close tie between our commercial sectors and the production-focused research that Cawthron is so good at.”

Currently all mussel seed is collected from the wild, making it difficult to guarantee supply and quality. Cawthron’s research will enable the mussels to be grown from hatchery seed that have been specifically selected for desirable characteristics such as health promoting benefits, rather than from wild spat.

“Currently the mussel seed is only available a few times of the year which makes for an erratic supply if things go wrong,” Cawthron’s Cultured Shellfish Programme leader and Senior Scientist Nick King says.

“Hatchery spat on the other hand can be produced on demand, is of consistent quality and can be produced using selectively bred broodstock, which will provide the mussel industry with the benefits enjoyed by almost every other primary producer.”

Around 70 percent of New Zealand’s mussel production is based in the Top of the South. Mussel exports are worth $220 million annually to the New Zealand economy.

“The breeding and husbandry initiatives we’ve developed here at Cawthron really give the aquaculture sector a chance to step up and play a much more significant role in the food export industry,” Professor Eason says.
Cawthron Institute is New Zealand’s largest independent research institute specialising in freshwater and coastal marine, environmental research and research for the food and aquaculture industries. It also has substantial testing laboratories and provides seafood safety testing for key sectors of the aquaculture industry.

The SPATnz mussel selective breeding programme will see a new shellfish hatchery built at the Cawthron Aquaculture Park. Construction will begin in 2013, with a hatchery building, nursery building and three ponds of approximately 1500sqm each being built on site. The first significant quantities of commercially bred mussels are planned for 2015.

During his visit yesterday, the Prime Minister also unveiled a sign and viewed plans for Cawthron’s new $5 million high-technology laboratories ahead of construction starting in January. He met with key researchers and gave a speech to staff, management and directors around the significance of high-value scientific research and development to the economy, aquaculture in particular, and the positive contribution Cawthron is making in the area.

--

Image details: The Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister, at Cawthron Institute in Nelson yesterday to view plans for the new $5 million high-technology laboratories, looks at the science behind the organisation.


Click for big version.

The Rt Hon John Key unveiling new building plans



Click for big version.

The Rt Hon John Key in Laboratory


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news