Ag Research and Lincoln University are looking at a merger.
The proposal is to create a world-class, land-based University supporting research, education and extension that is focused on New Zealand’s vital primary industries.
“This would create an internationally outstanding entity, which would rank in the world’s top five of its type,” said Tom Lambie, Chancellor of Lincoln University.
“New Zealand needs to lift its rate of productivity growth and the obvious place to start is with the land-based industries. Through the creation of a world-class, internationally ranked, 21st century land-based University, the performance of New Zealand’s land-based industries will be enhanced substantially,” said Mr Lambie.
AgResearch Chairman Sam Robinson says when AgResearch was formed it brought together animal sciences from the Ministry of Agriculture and plant sciences from the DSIR which allowed, for the first time, the development of a coherent scientific view of how a farm operates.
“This merger will go that one vital step further and translate all that knowledge and technology that our scientists produce into coherent education and training for immediate industry benefit along the entire value chain. AgResearch has more scientists than any other government-owned research organisation in New Zealand and merging with Lincoln University will provide a more stable base for New Zealand’s most important research and development, and enhance teaching activity,” said Mr Robinson.
A fact sheet on the proposal is here.
The merger profile is here and lists expected benefits from the merger including critical mass and concentration of expertise, new opportunities for research, better integration of research, combine education and research in a way separate organisations can’t, increased revenue, raise the profile of the sophistication of land-based industries as a career, enhanced ability to recurit staff and students, produce more relevantly-educated graduates, greater funding stability and security of revenue and a much stronger voice for the land-based industries.
Closer investigation may unearth some fish hooks, but at first glance this sounds like a sensible merger of people and resources which will benefit agricultural research.
Anything which leads to improvements in farming practices and productivity is to be encouraged for its own sake and because it will be good for the environment and the economy too.
Stronger links between farming, science and the university should be good for all of them.