6 Jul 2009

Warning over joint government-industry research funding

1:42 pm on 6 July 2009

The drive to fund primary sector research through Government and industry partnerships runs the risk of squeezing out the longer-term research that provides the starting point for innovation, warns a Massey University academic.

The Government's new Primary Growth Partnership fund, like the Fast Forward Fund it replaced, is based on the concept of industry contributions matching public funding to bulk up the money available for research.

Professor of pastoral agriculture Jacqueline Rowarth says those joint funding arrangements are very important, for encouraging private investment in research.

However, she says they must not come at the expense of publicly-funded research, which is where the scientific breakthroughs often occur.

Professor Rowarth says the Government-funded research is supposed to fund creative innovation at the start of a process, while business-funded research concentrates on short-term deliverable goals.