Nanorods, Sauvignon Blanc win out in science funding round

By Peter Griffin 12/07/2010

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has today unveiled its main “public good” funding round grants which total $48 million and fund everything from the development of the New Zealand titanium industry, through to restoring wetlands.

More details of these interesting research projects will hopefully emerge in the media in the course of the next week.

The full list of projects funded is listed below… further details on the FRST website.

• Integrated fresh water solutions–Massey University

$350,000 per annum over three years to integrate freshwater scientific and environmental data with socio/cultural and economic data; this will enable local water managers to improve the quality of the freshwater ecosystem in the Manawatu catchment.

• Embryo survival–AgResearch

$1.7m per annum over six years to research why only half of ovulated eggs produce lambs and calves. Increasing embryo survival by 3 per cent is expected to boost primary sector revenue by $150m per annum.

• Bioengineering technologies for breast and lungs–University of Auckland

$1m per annum over four years in research to develop new diagnostic and treatment procedures for breast cancer and respiratory disease by using realistic computer models.

• Titanium alloy powder–University of Waikato

$599,400 per annum over two years to enhance the capability and international competitiveness of the New Zealand titanium metal industry sector by improving current powder consolidation processes. Improving production is expected to lead to $100-200m per annum in titanium products exports by 2019.

• Making lambs immune to parasites–AgResearch

$683,300 per annum over six years to identify methods to improve lambs’ immune system resistance to parasitic worms. If successful this will provide farmers with further tools to manage worms and problems associated with drench resistance.

• Magnetic resonance capability–Victoria University of Wellington

$650,000 per annum over two years to develop a suite of prototype technologies that will result in products and methods for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging markets. This will benefit New Zealand companies such as Magritek and other companies in the electronics, machining and plastics moulding sector.

• Restoring wetlands–Landcare Research Ltd

$600,000 per annum over six years to reverse the decline in wetlands, and to see a 15 per cent increase by 2016 in the number and area of wetlands being restored by wetland land-owners and managers.

• Nanorods for acoustic microscopes–Industrial Research

$300,000 per annum over three years to develop a new nanotechnology-based advanced instrument to measure fibre homogeneity and alignment in plastic products. This will support New Zealand high-value plastics manufacturers.

• Anti-allergen ingredients from raw milk–Fonterra Research Centre Ltd

$250,000 per annum over three years to develop ingredients that prevent the onset of allergic disease, in a similar manner to anti-allergy effects of raw milk, but in a way that is safe for infants.

• Novel Sauvignon Blanc wines–Plant & Food Research

$2m per annum over six years to provide New Zealand’s wine industry with the tools to produce new and distinct flavour-style of Sauvignon Blanc wines that attract a premium export price.

• Renewable high performance coatings–Industrial Research Ltd

$440,000 per annum over four years to develop novel coating ingredients, for use in the paint industry, that can be manufactured from readily-available raw materials with minimal environmental impact.

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