The Government will invest $14.4 million into transformative new scientific research programmes including cutting-edge cancer treatment and vertical farming.
Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says these investments will help find the answers to some of our greatest challenges, such as cures to deadly diseases, improving food resilience, and transitioning to a lower carbon and more productive economy.
“This kind of research will help make New Zealand’s economy more sustainable,” says Megan
“These projects demonstrate New Zealand’s growing strength in applying cutting edge technology to real-world problems. They will see companies and industry bodies partnering to perform ground-breaking research.”
Four research grants were announced, which have the potential to deliver breakthrough immunotherapy treatment for that uses a patient’s own T-cells, modifying them to recognise and eradicate cancerous cells with a high degree of precision.
They can develop new applications of UV light to seeds and seedlings to increase plant productivity and resilience to crop stresses such as drought or disease, as well as rapidly improve the availability and quality of improved Pinus radiata tree stocks through the development of mass propagation techniques using bioreactors.
The grants will also improve livestock growth and health, and reduce insecticide use, through genetically improved endophytes that live symbiotically with perennial ryegrass.
Megan says science and innovation are major drivers of economic growth and international competitiveness.
“These partnerships will see lasting benefits for New Zealand’s economy.”