Quake rebuild sparks Lincoln Hub concept
The government says the new agricultural research and education facility to be built at Lincoln, near Christchurch, will be world class and further boost farming productivity.
The Lincoln Hub, as it is called, is a partnership of Lincoln University, DairyNZ and three Crown research institutes – AgResearch, Plant & Food Research and Landcare Research.
It has been made possible by the university’s need to rebuild its science facilities post-earthquake and AgResearch’s decision to invest $100 million upgrading its centres nationwide.
Launching the hub, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy say it will provide a “one-stop shop allowing information and ideas to be shared more easily”.
“Internationally, science and innovation parks that collect together public and private organisations in one place drive a lot of education, science and innovation,” says Mr Joyce, who also announced the AgResearch plans.
“Their investment will be one of the biggest single science investments in New Zealand in decades and it is ideally timed with the development of the new Lincoln Hub.”
Mr Guy says the primary sector remains the powerhouse of the economy and the government has a goal to double these exports from $30 billion to $60 billion by 2025.
“We know that every 1% increase in primary sector productivity generates an extra $4 billion in exports, and that we need to attract our best and brightest into this field. The hub will be a major step forward in meeting these challenges,” Mr Guy says.
AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson says the $100 million upgrade will be spread across all its four sites.
“We are proposing to have a focus on farm systems, environmental science and dairying at our Ruakura campus in Hamilton. Much of the beyond-the-farm-gate science is proposed to be at our Grasslands campus in Palmerston North.
"At Lincoln we are proposing to concentrate many of our on-farm research areas and our Invermay campus, near Dunedin, is proposed to predominantly focus on environmental and farm systems capability,” he says.