18 Feb 2010

New bid for wool research funding

1:05 pm on 18 February 2010

The New Zealand Wool Research Organisation is to make a fresh bid for public funding for a new research consortium.

It initiated the idea of a consortium to combine funding with commercial wool interests to attract a matching contribution from the Government science funding body, FORST.

But FORST turned down the application late last year, partly because of a vote by farmers not to renew a levy paid to Meat & Wool New Zealand for research and other activities.

However, a task force set up by the Agriculture Minister to identify ways of restoring the profitability of the strong wool sector, thinks that FORST should reconsider the proposal.

And Wool Research chair, David Douglas, is hoping the task force's support will produce a more positive response when it re-submits the bid.

He says the onus is now on the Government to give the correct signals.