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New industries and new jobs

Media Release

New industries and new jobs

New, high value industries and new jobs from our forest and agricultural resources will be the ultimate outcome of recent investment decisions announced by the Government science investment agency, the Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST) yesterday.

Research contracts amounting to at least $14 million dollars over at least 4 years have been granted to Forest Research and partner organizations, Canesis Network Ltd, Crop and Food Research and the University of Auckland under the umbrella of the Biopolymer Network. The network partners will develop high performance polymers and composites from forest and agricultural resources.

“Success in these areas will see the emergence of new industries, complementing the existing products that arise from our forests and agricultural resources” says Dr Russell Burton, General Manager Science Futures at Forest Research. “The new materials we aim to create are key components in high valued products such as cosmetics, shampoos, paints, glues and packaging materials. The research and development carried out within this partnership will ultimately mean new jobs, new export industries, and less reliance on imported petrochemicals. This has obvious environmental advantages as products are created from existing waste materials and renewable resources.”

“This partnership is the first time that national science capability in forestry, wool and agricultural crops has combined for the advancement of these primary sectors and represents an exciting step forward for New Zealand research.”

Forest Research Chief Executive, Bryce Heard says “this is yet another important step for Forest Research in pursuing our biomaterials strategy”. Two weeks ago Forest Research announced a 50:50 joint venture with its Australian counterpart the Forest and Forest Products Division of CSIRO. “That joint venture will strengthen our ability to deliver greater value throughout the traditional forestry value chain. Now, this new investment means that we can fast track our research into non-traditional bio-based consumer products. We are very pleased with the partnerships that underpin these opportunities. Partnerships within New Zealand and internationally are of increasing importance if we are to be able to successfully compete in global markets.”

In addition to increased investment in its new biomaterials strategy areas, Forest Research has also received significant investment in related areas including understanding the social and environmental impacts of biomaterials industries and research into rural fire.

Ends

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