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Industry partnership aims to boost NZ dairy research

The University of Auckland and New Zealand’s largest Crown Research Institute AgResearch have signed a deal with dairy industry groups to establish a graduate school for dairy research.

The deal is part of a wider partnership with industry body DairyNZ and farmer cooperative Livestock Improvement Corporation, signed on 20 November. The four partners have also agreed to collaborate more on research and innovation.

The school will focus on sustainable farming, food science and business and will offer training in subjects such as genetics, agricultural technology and environmental science. The partners plan to open for business in 2015, offering at least 50 masters and PhD places in a bid to increase home-grown expertise in dairy.

“Improving the number and calibre of graduates entering the dairy industry will pay huge dividends for the industry and New Zealand Inc,” Tom Richardson, chief executive of AgResearch said in a statement. ”We currently recruit more than two-thirds of our scientists from overseas because of the shortage of local graduates—this initiative is a significant move towards redressing that.”