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Accord to leverage synergies

Media release
17 December 2008

Accord to leverage synergies from natural resources and scientific expertise

Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) and Fomana Capital Ltd have signalled their intent to work collaboratively on the commercialisation of high-value products and processes using IRL science by jointly signing a research partnership and commercialisation development accord.

Under the accord Fomana Capital, the investment arm of the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA), will work with IRL to apply the Crown Research Institute’s world-class science and engineering capabilities in the development of high-value nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products for global markets

IRL Chief Executive Shaun Coffey said he had a great deal of faith in the agreement and believed that together the two organisations had complementary skills and knowledge.

“With Fomana’s access to supplies of raw biomass used in the production of these products and IRL’s world-class expertise in techniques such as super-critical extraction used to harness bio-active properties, I believe this collaboration has significant potential.

“Having trained originally as a geneticist, this partnership resonates particularly with me. The accord builds on the long association between Western science and Maori knowledge of the flora and fauna of Aotearoa that began with the likes of Joseph Banks and others in the 18th Century. We are coming together at a time when we can recognise and honour the past and look forward to a rewarding future,” he says.

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Fomana Capital’s Chief Executive Officer Wayne Mulligan says he is aware of the importance of focusing on adding value to natural products to get better returns for FOMA members. Maori hold significant interests in horticulture, seafood, aquaculture and sheep and beef farming throughout New Zealand.

“We believe that IRL’s expertise in this area combined with our access to biomass such as off-cuts from fish and other natural materials give us the potential to create new high-value products together.”

The partnership intends to initially develop fish oil products rich in omega-3 and from there move into other high value products derived from natural materials.

IRL Integrated Bioactive Technology Group Manager Owen Catchpole says he is very excited about the prospect of the new partnership.

“We have been looking for an opportunity to develop new natural products enriched in omega-3 fatty acids for a long time. We believe that there are opportunities for the development of new products with a wider range of health benefits compared to what is currently available – this is definitely the direction international markets are going.”

The partners are seeking to install a pilot plant and manufacture several food-grade batches of lipids enriched in omega-3 fatty acids in 2009 and hope to make their first commercial sale before 2010.


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