NZGL delivering results
Friday 18 October 2013
NZGL delivering results
New Zealand Genomics Limited (NZGL) – the government-supported collaboration established to ensure New Zealand scientists have access to advanced genomics technology onshore – is generating the results it was designed to deliver.
Genomics refers to the field of science that allows researchers to examine thousands of genes at a time, enabling much faster research progress in the areas of health, agriculture and conservation. At a practical level, it means scientists can better understand diseases and develop new treatments. On the agricultural front, they can select for economically-advantageous traits in livestock, such as leaner meat. And, within conservation, genomics is providing information that will be critical for the long-term survival of many unique New Zealand species, including the kiwi and tuatara.
NZGL was established in 2010 and is a collaboration between three universities – The University of Auckland, Massey University and the University of Otago, and is supported by the Government (represented by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment).
NZGL’s 2013 Impacts and Outcomes report summarises the collaboration’s performance in the 12 months to 30 June. During that period, NZGL worked on 209 projects worth a total of $3.5m.
NZGL chief executive Tony Lough says the report is positive reading. “Our clients are happy. They are finding the data quality is of a high standard and they are recommending us to their fellow scientists.”
“We have worked on some significant projects, including commercial research within the sheep and dairy sectors, clarifying the source of the kiwifruit/PSA contamination, discovering key genetic information that will assist in the conservation of native species, and working alongside medical researchers to build knowledge around human diseases.”
In addition to service delivery, NZGL has several other objectives, including nurturing and retaining world-class researchers in New Zealand. “In the past two years, NZGL has developed the capability of scientists across New Zealand by working alongside 300 principal investigators, 270 postgraduate and undergraduate students, and 30 research staff.”
NZGL chair Graham Crombie says NZGL will continue improving its services to clients, while working alongside other sector organisations to ensure best use is made of scarce resources. “For us, it’s a balance between providing physical infrastructure, building capacity and delivering an efficient and high quality service.”