A proposal to establish a new education, science and innovation precinct in Lincoln has moved a step closer after winning ministerial support.
AgResearch plans to independently own and fund the new facilities and recently entered into a conditional agreement with Lincoln University to purchase a parcel of land on Springs Road to build on.
After reviewing the business case, Research, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Megan Woods has asked AgResearch to move to the next phase of designing the new research facilities in the Canterbury township.
This includes an Implementation Business Case subject to further ministerial approval.
AgResearch chairman Paul Reynolds said the ministerial support was a welcome step towards the science institute's vision to transform the land-based research sector.
"Agri-business is evolving rapidly and transformational change is required to ensure farming in the future is able to harness the power of new technologies and remain environmentally and financially sustainable," he said.
"We believe a new education, science and innovation precinct that fosters co-location with our commercial partners and the tertiary education sector will help us all meet this challenge together."
Dr Reynolds said the new facilities in Lincoln would enhance collaboration with tertiary education and other research partners.
"This is potentially a large investment that will have positive flow-on effects for the Lincoln area which is the home of land-based research and development. "
"PGG Wrightson Seeds recently opened a new facility on our Lincoln campus and we plan to share our facilities to enhance collaboration with researchers from Lincoln University."
Over the summer AgResearch also plans to open a new building on Massey University's Manawatu campus which will be called 'Te Ohu Rangahau Kai, meaning "a co-operative community of food researchers."