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


Agchem innovation recognised by Callaghan

25 June 2014

Agchem innovation recognised by Callaghan

A major investment in technology by Zelam Limited, a New Plymouth-based agrichemical company, has been recognised by Callaghan Innovation.

Zelam is well-known on the land for its popular agrichemical brands – like TAG G2, Headstart, Pycus and Vixen. But few farmers and growers will be aware that the company behind these brands has one of the country’s largest research teams outside the universities and CRIs.

Each year, Zelam invests up to $3 million in chemistry, field trials and analyses. Now 20 per cent of its New Zealand research budget is being refunded by way of R&D grants from Callaghan Innovation, a government agency that helps fund businesses that invest in research and development.

The aim of the grants is to accelerate innovation by firms in New Zealand, so they turn ideas into marketable products and services more quickly and successfully.

“Of our 45 staff, 17 are full-time researchers,” says general manager Andrew Thompson.

“Our research focus is on tried and true agrichemicals that are off-patent. By developing novel formulations and delivery mechanisms for these products, we are helping farmers to beat weeds, pest and diseases that continue to prevent crops reaching full yield potential.

“We have developed formulations that are effective at lower application rates than established products. In addition, our oleo formulations make it easier for farmers by providing a one-drum product, versus having to mix separate products that are not normally stable in water.”

Of the company’s 10 top selling products, eight are based on Zelam IP. These include innovative mixes of chemical actives, the use of micro-encapsulation technology developed by Zelam and the adaptation through trial work in New Zealand of actives used in unrelated crops overseas.

Some of Zelam’s formulations have a big potential to earn foreign exchange from sales overseas. But most of the company’s products will reward taxpayer support indirectly – by making farmers and growers more efficient and helping boost the primary export economy.

Research manager Paul Lobb says the Callaghan funding is very welcome.

“Over the next five years we expect to get Callaghan grants of up to $3 million, which gives a good indication of the investment we are making in new technology. This will enable us to increase our investment in R&D by a similar amount.”


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news