$8.4 million for wool research partnership

The Government will invest $8.4 million over seven years in a research partnership that could transform New Zealand’s wool industry, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced today.

The Wool Industry Research Ltd (WIRL) partnership “New Uses for Wool” is co-funded by the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand and worth $21 million overall.

“This new research partnership is examining effective ways to deconstruct coarse wool fibre and reconstitute it in a range of new functional forms,” says Mr Joyce.

“The innovative programme could potentially expose vast new markets for New Zealand wool. It has already attracted strong interest from the high-value multinational cosmetics industry, and has the support of local farmers and wool processors.”

The new funding will build on the successful work that WIRL has already undertaken in generating new ideas for wool, including novel textiles, bedding materials and filtration materials, says Mr Guy.

“The research partnership is between NZ Wool Services International Ltd, AgResearch Ltd, Lincoln Agritech, and Otago and Massey Universities. There is potential for other companies to join the partnership in the future.

“The Government is pleased to be investing in quality science that has the potential to grow the New Zealand wool industry.”

The partnership investment mechanism is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

More information can be found on the MBIE website:

http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/science-innovation/research-partnerships

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