The start of a joint $200 million development between Lincoln University and AgResearch demonstrates a strong commitment to agricultural research and teaching in Canterbury, Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith says.
“Today is a major milestone for agricultural science in New Zealand and its benefits will extend to the whole of the primary sector,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“Our primary sector is world class and helps to drive our economy. We want to ensure that the science and skills underpinning the sector are also world class.”
A ground-breaking ceremony was held today for the five-building facility at Lincoln to house around 700 staff from Lincoln University, AgResearch and Dairy NZ.
“Students want to study in the best facilities and learn from the best. The environment around them makes a big difference both to their experience of studying, and to choosing to go there in the first place,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“This investment from the Government, Lincoln University and AgResearch allows both institutions to deliver that quality experience for not only students, but teachers, and researchers as well.
With the closer linking of research and teaching and scientific disciplines, students can be immersed in the very best agricultural science.”
The new facility is a significant physical and financial undertaking, with a total floor area of 27,000 square metres, or nearly three hectares.
“Both Lincoln University and AgResearch’s facilities were damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes and the Government was keen to see a new joint facility between the two to increase research collaboration.
“This is a stake in the ground for the future of agricultural research in New Zealand and will mean new ways of working and learning for everyone involved.
“Removing the barriers between university and industry researchers and introducing the best new facilities will be key for attracting the best staff and students for years to come.”
The Government is contributing $85 million to Lincoln University for the project, with the rest coming from AgResearch and Lincoln themselves. The new buildings will be a key part of the Lincoln Hub – a specialist land-based innovation cluster in partnership with Lincoln University, AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, Landcare Research and DairyNZ.