Centres to link through strategy

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 06:47 21/02/2013

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The Marlborough Research Centre was to cement ties with one of New Zealand's leading research centres to fast track a new business strategy today.

The memorandum of understanding between the Marlborough Research Centre and the Riddet Institute was to be signed at the Blenheim research centre in Budge St, at 11.30am.

Marlborough Research Centre general manager Gerald Hope said yesterday the memorandum was an important step in implementing the new Marlborough Food and Beverage Innovation Strategy.

The new strategy aimed to foster innovative businesses based on Marlborough's high quality primary products.

Mr Hope said the research centres would provide a conduit to connect businesses with researchers.

"This agreement provides a vital link for us in realising the true value of Marlborough products and extracts in national and international markets."

The new strategy was produced by Riddet's general manager, Mark Ward, and would be funded by the Marlborough Research Centre.

Mr Ward said Marlborough had the potential to build a reputation of producing high quality, high value products on the back of the success of Marlborough sauvignon blanc.

"We want to help the region extract maximum value from its unique, sustainable natural products and materials," he said.

"To do that we need to advance the link between business and research and we hope this strategy will bring that about."

The memorandum was to be presented to a group of Marlborough businesses which were involved with the early stages of the strategy, including Sanford, New Zealand King Salmon, Kono, New Zealand Extracts, Annies, New Zealand Undaria, Tory Channel Kelp, and The Honey Company.

The Riddet Institute is based at Massey University in Palmerston North.

Massey University deputy-vice chancellor Professor Robert Anderson was to speak at the ceremony. Professor Anderson was a member of the primary production sub-committee of the National Research Advisory Committee that visited Marlborough in the early 1980s and recommended the establishment of the Marlborough Research Centre.

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- The Marlborough Express

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