2 May 2013

Govt finalises fields of science investment

6:26 am on 2 May 2013

The Government has announced the key areas of science it's going to focus its attention and money on and they include two or three that impact on the agricultural sector.

Minister for Science and Innovation Steven Joyce says the 10 National Science Challenges will bring a more strategic approach to government investment.

He says one of the key areas identified for investment is land and water, where research is needed to boost primary production and productivity while maintaining land and water quality.

Mr Joyce says there is the suggestion that can be achieved which would be a win-win for science and the economy.

Sir Peter Gluckman, the prime minister's chief science advisor, says another of the National Science Challenges is helping New Zealand to develop high value foods with health benefits.

He says it's clearly aimed at using New Zealand expertise in nutritional and food science research to expand the market.

"To move from basic commodity type food exports to where the highest value's added, that is where there is a regulatory frame approval of high value foods."

The Government has earmarked more than $130 million to spend on the 10 fields, which also include improving biosecurity and protecting biodiversity.