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Worldwide market for new technology

Worldwide market for new technology

HortResearch has licensed Auckland-based Alphatech Systems Ltd to commercialise its plant tissue disintegrator technology worldwide on an exclusive basis.

The technology was designed by scientist Mike Cook at HortResearch Palmerston North, who received a Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Enterprise Scholarship to assist with the costs of research.

The disintegrator provides a fully automated way of grinding plant tissue to release DNA for further analysis. HortResearch’s gene mapping laboratory had previously relied on a manual process and automating the system increased capacity 90-fold.

Many laboratories around the world are involved in analysing plant DNA but none of the existing plant-cell disruption systems is directly interfaced to a liquid handling robot to allow full automation of this time consuming process.

Alphatech Systems Managing Director Conway Bishop said, “With HortResearch we visited major plant genomic conferences around the world to discuss the potential of this product and received a very positive response. We anticipate that the DNA extraction system will be sold throughout Europe, USA, Asia and Australia and we are currently selecting our first international trial sites to further test and refine the equipment. We expect to launch the product worldwide in January 2005.”

HortResearch has also developed consumables kits to be used with the new system and is discussing with Alphatech Systems how best to commercialise these. and Alphatech Systems is planning how best to commercialise these.
Paul McGilvary HortResearch CEO said, “This technology is a good example of how New Zealand science innovation can make an impact on the international marketplace through partnership with a New Zealand company.”

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) funded part of the development of the disintegrator prototype.

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