New research institutes announced for Bay of Plenty and Westland

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced a new Regional Research Institute based in Tauranga to leverage the Bay of Plenty’s strengths in horticulture, accelerating and commercialising research and innovation for the benefit of the region.

It is the second such announcement this week.

Plantech: the New Zealand Institute for Technology and Innovation in Premium Plant-based Value Chains, led by the economic development agency, Priority One, is the fourth successful proposal under the Government’s initiative to establish new regional Research Institutes.

The Government will provide funding of $8.42 million over five years for the new institute alongside additional funding from industry. It will operate as a private, independently governed organisation.

Plantech will initially focus on research to enable digital automation of devices for growers, including robotics and digital sensing, with the aim of becoming a leader in supporting customised, precise and automated production systems that are accessible for businesses at a range of scales.

“This research will increase effective development, adoption and adaptation of new technology which will improve the productivity and sustainability of the Horticulture sector. This has the potential to drive significant economic benefits for the region,” Mr Goldsmith says.

The announcement of the new institute through the Regional Research Institute initiative comes as the Bay of Plenty launches its refreshed Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Action Plan.

The Action Plan is a regionally led collaboration between local and central government, business and iwi that aims to increase jobs, income and investment in the Bay of Plenty. Regional economic development is a key part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda and is supported through the Regional Growth Programme.

More information can be found on the MBIE website, HERE.
 

Yesterday Goldsmith announced a new Regional Research Institute based in Greymouth that will use innovative research and manufacturing techniques to unlock the potential of New Zealand’s minerals resources.

The New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research is led by an industry organisation, Minerals West Coast Trust.

The Government will provide funding of $11 million over four years for it. With additional funding from industry, it too will operate as a private, independently governed organisation.

The institute will explore three research areas initially, including purifying rare earth elements for use in magnets and lasers, extracting tungsten from gold mining waste and developing a carbon foam pilot plant.

The announcement of the new institute through the Regional Research Institute initiative comes as the West Coast launches its Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Action Plan. The West Coast was included in the Government’s Regional Growth Programme in November 2015. The programme aims to increase jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand.

More information can be found on the MBIE website, HERE.

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