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Research entity changes name to focus on global capabilit

Research entity changes name to focus on global capability

New Zealand’s National Research Centre for Growth and Development (the NRCGD) has been renamed Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development. This is part of a plan to build the capability and reputation of the organisation before a global audience.

Gravida’s focus is to answer the research question “what makes a good start for a healthy life?” for New Zealanders. The aim of Gravida is to translate findings from research focused around this question into better health for Kiwis, and increased agricultural productivity.

“Gravida has set out to raise New Zealand’s research bar even higher,” says Professor Phil Baker, Director of Gravida. “At the heart of our strategy is cross-disciplinary collaboration – a sharing of expertise and knowledge across disciplines in New Zealand’s science community in universities and research entities. We have limited funds in New Zealand, and we have to apply them wisely. So if you’re researching bees, for example, you might not meet someone who is involved in researching human DNA. But at Gravida, we’ve already achieved that, and the two are working together because there’s commonality in the gene responses they’re looking at. This collaboration is seldom achieved offshore, but it’s being achieved actively here.”

The launch of the new name took place at the centre’s annual symposium held in Palmerston North late in 2012.

“This gathering of scientists, researchers and observers is a key platform for collaboration – which in turn is a cornerstone of Gravida’s operations,” says Professor Baker. Around 80 people attended the symposium, mostly students and investigators undertaking Gravida-related research. They heard reports delivered by investigators from across the country, and attended networking events.

The centre’s new website can be found at

Gravida is a government-funded Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) and hosted by the University of Auckland.


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