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Marlborough Research Centre Announces Appointment Of New Chief Executive

The Marlborough Research Centre (MRC) confirms the appointment of John Patterson as its new Chief Executive, effective July 1, 2024. Patterson, an Associate of MRC, emerged as the top candidate following a rigorous selection process that drew considerable interest.

Having worked closely with outgoing Chief Executive Gerald Hope for the past eight years, John brings a wealth of experience in research programme development and project management. His collaborative efforts with Gerald have notably contributed to the completion of key initiatives, including the construction of the New Zealand Wine Centre and the recently finished Experimental Future Vineyard (EFV), set to be formally opened later this year.

John is well known to the region having previously lived in Marlborough for 20 years working with Council, Iwi and community organisations on a variety of initiatives.

John is very committed to further development of the new complex situated at the Budge Street Campus alongside NMIT. “New Zealand’s future is aligned to developing new technologies, and sustainable growing systems that minimise environmental impacts and mitigate the impact of climate change”, he said.

“Key to the future success of MRC and its partners will be identifying and implementing smarter technologies based around a well-funded and effective science-based cluster. This is the objective of recent major investment consolidated under the New Zealand Wine Centre that was officially opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in 2022,” he said.

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The New Zealand Wine Centre provides an integrated research, business, and education hub, unique to New Zealand. It has attracted attention from international researchers and technology organizations and firms. Over the past six years, MRC and Bragato Research Institute have collectively invested $20 million on-site, signalling a joint commitment for innovative technology and support for the primary production sectors in Marlborough.

Bernie Rowe, Chairman of the board of Trustees of MRC, emphasises that the core mission of the organisation has remained unwavering since its inception forty years ago: to collaborate closely with the primary production sector and cultivate respected and effective science and research capability.

“The potential to further link into international research organisations through the EFV is exciting and I am confident that John will build on that relationship. The objective is to enhance outcomes for regional business, increase exports, and improve returns for producers and manufacturers,” Rowe said.

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