Public attitudes are very strong on environmental issues such as clean water and that is driving policy according to the Director of the Farmed Landscapes Research Centre (FLRC) at Massey University.
The $45 million AgResearch and Massey University Food Science Facility, on the university’s Manawatū campus, will have 140 staff and students from the two organisations and from the Government-funded centre of research excellence, the Riddet Institute.
It will have laboratories and shared spaces for education and research into meat and dairy in a three-storey, 5000 square metre building that will be NZ’s largest agri-food innovation centre.
It will also be a key aspect of FoodHQ – a partnership to grow NZ’s reputation in food and beverage innovation that includes AgResearch and Massey University.
AgResearch chief executive Dr Tom Richardson says local firm McMillan & Lockwood will lead the construction.
“At this stage, the plan is to have the building completed by October 2019. The occupants will include AgResearch staff already based in Palmerston North, and others working in the food sciences who will be relocating to the city,” Richardson says.
“This new joint-facility concept – similar to what AgResearch is doing with Lincoln University near Christchurch – will accelerate innovation by having world-class talent working together under one roof.
“For food research it means the opportunity for new generation products that offer new textures and flavours and improve human health and nutrition.”
Massey vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says the facility is another development for the university and its Manawatū campus, and integral to Massey’s collaborations with research institutions and other organisations and businesses helping grow NZ’s food exports and reputation for quality and innovation.
“Part of Massey’s strategy is that all our campuses will be innovation ecosystems, magnets for smart enterprises and operated in partnerships founded on respect, trust and mutual benefit,” Thomas says.
“The creation of this facility epitomises those goals we have set for ourselves and our partners.”