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Varsity & Landcare Put Knowledge Wave Into Effect

University And Landcare Research Put 'Knowledge Wave' Into Effect

Crown Research Institute Landcare Research will become the first new resident for Auckland's emerging technology and research hub, centred on The University of Auckland's Tamaki campus.

The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood said that delegates and speakers at last week's Catching the Knowledge Wave conference repeatedly spoke of the need to create clusters of research excellence that would act as engines of economic growth.

"Locating research-led companies and technology firms in the area of the Tamaki campus is a practical step by the University to make that happen," he says.

"Basic research, much of which is conducted in research-led universities, has been demonstrated by many international studies to be a fundamental driver of innovation in economies.

"The development of the Tamaki campus and technology park will enable firms to use knowledge being produced by the University and allow for greater collaboration on basic research."

Landcare Research will relocate its Auckland research activities, currently based at the Mt Albert Research Centre, to the campus. Construction of a brand new building that will itself be a landmark for research and development will commence next year.

The re-location is part of a strategic alliance between Landcare Research and The University of Auckland that will see greater co-operation in the areas of biological and ecological research.

Landcare Research's focus is sustainable management of resources, including biosecurity and conservation, pest management, land and water quality and climate change and greenhouse gases.

The University recently re-launched its Tamaki campus as a 'research-led, innovation campus' with a particular focus on the interdisciplinary and multi-faculty areas of environment, IT, materials, food, health & sports and information management.

Landcare Research chief executive Dr Andy Pearce says he is pleased to be forming a partnership with the premier research university in the country.

"We are thrilled to be bringing together our knowledge of the systematic naming of New Zealand fungi, insects and bacteria with the University's expertise in the 21st century science of bioinformatics, or using computers to manage the names and genetic information of these organisms. We are also pleased to be bringing together both organisations' capabilities in DNA-based tools for identifying organisms.

"There will be new investment in DNA diagnostic tools and in identifying compounds from the company's biological collection that may be useful in agriculture, industry or other applications."

Landcare Research will build new research premises at the campus that will be the focus of research and scientific development. The building will include archive and storage areas for the company's national collection of insects, fungi and bacteria.

Dr Pearce says the building will set exemplary standards of environmental performance, including resource and energy consumption.

The University of Auckland's School of Architecture will be the company's professional advisors on the 'Green' building. The building itself will provide considerable scientific opportunities and will be the subject of research into lifetime operating costs for a Green building and lifetime performance in energy and resource consumption.

"It demonstrates the art of the possible, said Dr Pearce. "It treads lightly on the earth."

Staff from the School of Architecture will work with Landcare Research to create the design criteria and well as processes for selection of construction and building. The design and construction of the building is likely to take two years.

The science of urban ecosystem sustainability will be another focus for the alliance, with a strong initial focus on the Auckland area. Also, Landcare Research's research work in business sustainability will link with the University's new Bachelors degree in Business Information Management (BBIM), which includes a focus on business sustainability, and will be headquartered at Tamaki.

ENDS

Background information 1

THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND AT TAMAKI

The University of Auckland at Tamaki is being developed as an integrated academic campus and technology park focused on six themes: -

* IT, Telecommunications and Electronics * Environment, Resources and Energy * Manufacturing and Materials * Biotechnology and Foods, * Health, Psychology and Sports * Information Management.

It will be unique among the university campuses in New Zealand in terms of its university-industry-CRI integration and in terms of its culture that will be research-led, postgraduate intensive, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial.

The large campus is adjacent to an extensive amount of university-owned land providing exceptional opportunities for co-location by Crown Research Institutes, private research organisations and companies with interests in the campus research and teaching themes. Co-location is designed to enable the establishment of active and productive R&D links with University researchers based on the Tamaki Campus as well as those on other University of Auckland Campuses.

The focus of Tamaki is to encourage strong cross-disciplinary activity between research teams, institutes and centres and joint research activities with CRIs, other research providers (national and international), and the private sector.

The aim is to provide a vibrant research and development precinct around the Campus that relates strongly to the activities at Tamaki. Facilities that enable the University's intellectual property and that of staff and students will be nurtured and developed to the benefit of the University, staff and students.

Background Information 2

LANDCARE RESEARCH ? MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR A TRULY CLEAN, GREEN NEW ZEALAND

Landcare Research is New Zealand's premier research agency focussing on management of land resources for conservation and for primary production.

We have about 400 staff at nine sites, researching all aspects of land environments ? from developing sustainable land use practises and managing weeds and pests, to strategies for maintaining underlying environmental quality and conserving species diversity. We look at urban ecology and restoration projects; minimising waste and contamination; efficient use of resources; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon sinks. We also give careful attention to the economic, social and cultural implications of environmental management.

New Zealand has a reputation for being 'clean and green', but primary production, industry and human habitations can have adverse effects on our environment. Wastes and emissions may contaminate soil, water and air. Exotic organisms threaten indigenous biodiversity and primary production systems. The role of science is to understand the nature and extent of such issues, and to find solutions that will protect the environment while ensuring our social and economic well being into the future.

Our research benefits all land users and resource managers, including New Zealand and overseas governments, local and regional authorities, private enterprises, industries, recreationalists and all land owners.

Landcare Research is taking science off its traditional pedestal to make it work for New Zealand, and to make it understandable and accessible to people. Staff are all committed to working in partnership with clients, public and private stakeholders, interest groups, and other science organisations.

As a Crown Research Institute, nearly all of our research and associated activities are publicly funded. Funding comes primarily from the Public Good Science fund, but also from the Department of Conservation, Animal Health Board, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and other central and local government agencies.

Background information 3

KEY FEATURES OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCE:

* Relocation of Landcare Research's Mt Albert operations into groundbreaking new 'green building' at Auckland University's Tamaki campus. The building will have exemplary environmental, energy and resource-consumption performance.

* The University's architecture and engineering faculties will be involved in the design of the building, and ongoing monitoring of its performance.

* Vastly expanded and improved housing for Landcare Research's national collections of insects, fungi and bacteria.

* Bringing together of Landcare Research's expertise in biosystematics (identifying species and the relationships between them) and the University's skills in bioinformatics (using computers to store and recognise the names and genetic information about these organisms). Also, the bringing together of both organisations' capabilities in DNA-based tools for identifying organisms.

* Centre for urban ecosystem sustainability to be set up, for research into how urban environments can be sustained, especially through using natural ecosystem processes. Functions will include teaching students, liasing with business interests, and taking part in environmental policy development.

* Centre for Maori and Indigenous Environmental Knowledge - Te Whiringa Matauranga Taio to be set up, to provide a bridge between Maori/indigenous and western/scientific environmental knowledge. Also a place for collecting and storing knowledge passed on in the oral tradition.

* Sustainable Business Systems initiative to be set up, to combine Landcare Research's leadership in tools for improving business sustainability (Triple Bottom Line reports, Measure to Manage (M2M), Enviromark ®) with business information system and accounting capabilities. These tools will enhance the University's new Bachelors degree in Business Information Management (BBIM).

* The move from the Mt Albert site to Auckland University's Tamaki campus is part of Landcare Research's larger strategy to build partnerships with universities. When the move is complete, more than 90% of the company's staff will be sited on or adjacent to university campuses.


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