The Government will invest $8.4 million over seven years in a research partnership that could transform New Zealand’s wool industry.
The Wool Industry Research Ltd (WIRL) partnership “New Uses for Wool” is co-funded by the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand and is worth $21 million overall.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said the new research partnership was examining effective ways to deconstruct coarse wool fibre and reconstitute it in a range of new functional forms.
“The innovative programme could potentially expose vast new markets for New Zealand wool. It has already attracted strong interest from the high-value multinational cosmetics industry, and has the support of local farmers and wool processors.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the new funding would build on the successful work tWIRL has already undertaken in generating new ideas for wool, including novel textiles, bedding materials and filtration materials.
“The research partnership is between NZ Wool Services International Ltd, AgResearch Ltd, Lincoln Agritech, and Otago and Massey Universities. There is potential for other companies to join the partnership in the future.
“The Government is pleased to be investing in quality science that has the potential to grow the New Zealand wool industry.”
The partnership investment mechanism is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
More information can be found here on the MBIE website.