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Ag@Otago driving agricultural research

The University of Otago recently launched a new research theme, Ag@Otago, to drive greater research into agriculture across the university, in collaboration with the industry.

AbacusBio managing director Anna Campbell is an executive member of Ag@Otago and is looking forward to ensuring that some of the exciting research the university is known for is applied to industry.

Led by Professor Frank Griffin at the university’s department of microbiology and immunology, Ag@Otago brings together a diverse range of research capabilities relevant to the agricultural sector, such as genetics, food science, microbiology, and sustainability.

Anna says that a key focus is to develop relationships between the university and industry, in order for the university to better understand industry challenges and in doing so find suitable solutions through science and technology.

Ag@Otago has three themes: enhancing agricultural productivity; adding value in primary industries; and sustainable and profitable environmental management.

Anna says, “given our desperate need within agriculture to create value-added products and treat our environment well, the initiative is timely, especially given the university’s reputation for medical research and the increasing recognition of the role food plays in our health and well-being”.

“I am also excited for the many students at Otago from agricultural backgrounds or with interests in food production. I hope this will give them a clear path to take advantage of the many research opportunities within the agricultural sector.”

Anna will be speaking about Ag@Otago and AbacusBio’s capabilities at the AsiaPacific Food Integrity Conference this July, in Auckland, with her presentation on “matching supply with the changing face of consumer expectations”.

To find out more about Ag@Otago, visit www.otago.ac.nz/agriculture