New science and technology hub to support seafood industry

23 July 2015

Plant & Food Research has signed an agreement for Port Nelson to develop a purpose-built facility for its seafood research as part of a new collaborative industry hub.

The new 2,300m2 facility, next to Plant & Food Research’s existing Maitai finfish facility that opened in 2014, will provide office and laboratory space for 38 research and support staff, bringing the total Plant & Food Research staff housed in Port Nelson to 52 people. It is anticipated that construction will commence before the end of this year and will be completed in late 2016, with staff moving from the Institute’s current site at Wakefield Quay in early 2017.

The facility is part of a development by Port Nelson to convert the area into a science and technology Seafood Precinct. It is anticipated that other research organisations, education providers and commercial industry will also partner with Port Nelson to develop facilities on the site in due course, creating an innovation hub for the seafood and marine industry. The new Plant & Food Research facility will also include shared business amenities, such as meeting spaces, designed to promote collaboration between co-located organisations.

“Seafood is a core sector for Plant & Food Research, holding great promise for New Zealand’s export sector,” says Danette Olsen, GM Science Seafood Technologies at Plant & Food Research. “A modern fit-for-purpose facility will enable us to deliver additional impacts to industry over and above what we are able to do with our existing facilities, and support the seafood industry’s targets for economic growth and environmental sustainability.”

“We’re very pleased to have Plant & Food Research as our first tenant in the new Seafood Precinct,” says Phil Lough, Chairman at Port Nelson. “The seafood industry is an important part of the Nelson economy, and both Port Nelson and Plant & Food Research are dedicated to supporting its future success. This agreement is the first step in seeing a highly active, collaborative research hub to support the industry in meeting its future potential.”

The new facilities have been designed by Jerram Tocker Barron Architects with specialist lab designer LabWorks Architecture. Port Nelson will be seeking contract expressions of interest in coming weeks.

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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