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HortResearch And Rubicon Announce Alliance


AUCKLAND, 15 February 2001 – A new venture between the Fletcher Challenge company, Rubicon, and HortResearch was announced today. In line with the strategies proposed last October when Rubicon was first announced, the company will work with HortResearch, a Crown Research institute, to commercialise its intellectual capital.

HortResearch and Rubicon have complementary capabilities, through combined knowledge of tree-based systems, plant physiology, cultivar development, and biotechnology. In addition, Rubicon has strong commercialisation capabilities. The venture will initially target products that enable fruit trees to be grown more reliably in diverse climates as well as innovative products that improve fruit quality and consumer appeal.

The Chief Executive of HortResearch, Dr Ian Warrington, said today: “We are delighted to be entering into this venture with Rubicon. It will add value to the biotechnology achievements of both companies, and provide further opportunities for growth. This is an important step in taking the science being developed in Crown Research Institutes through to commercialisation, and ensuring that the business potential of such work is realised within New Zealand. We believe that the emergence of Rubicon as a participant in the arena of commercialisation of innovation is a significant step forward for science and knowledge researchers in New Zealand.”

Rubicon Chief Executive Luke Moriarty said the alliance with HortResearch was a clear example of his company’s ability to help commercialise the wealth of important research and scientific activity which exists in New Zealand. “We welcome this development with HortResearch. We believe their science and technology is world-class, and when combined with Rubicon’s biotechnology capabilities, can have important implications for both New Zealand horticulture, and also, through licensing, for global horticulture.”

Rubicon and HortResearch are discussing involvement with other parties who will provide the alliance with an expanded set of capabilities to fully achieve their goals in this new venture.

Attachment: Background material on HortResearch, Rubicon



February 2001


Rubicon will emerge as one of the listed companies that results from the separation process of Fletcher Challenge Limited, expected to be completed during March 2001. Rubicon’s principal role is to be a commercialiser of emerging technology – providing the business knowledge, management skills, business and commercial networks and financial capital needed to develop successful business from ideas and intellectual capital.


HortResearch is a Crown Research Institute established under the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992, and is New Zealand’s leading science and technology provider in the areas of horticulture, food, and related industries. Its capabilities include molecular biology, and gene transfer techniques in tree and horticultural species. It has horticultural germplasm banks and has been sequencing selected fruit tree germplasm to identify and utilise genes that will regulate tree performance. Its non-forest tree gene database is targeted to cover some 300,000 gene sequences.

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