26 Apr 2010

Wool consortium again applies for research funding

7:21 am on 26 April 2010

A wool industry research consortium is waiting to hear if it has succeeded in its second attempt to get government research funding.

Its first application last year was knocked back by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FORST), partly because of the farmer vote not to renew the wool levy they paid for research and other activities.

That levy decision was also a factor in AgResearch's decision to scale back its wool research activities.

However, the chair of the New Zealand wool research body, which initiated the consortium, says the farmer vote should not have had any bearing on FORST rejecting its first application.

David Douglas says that is because it is asking for matching funding for up to $1.5 million in research money it already has available.

He says wool research is a separate fund and it has $31 million invested and the entire proceeds go into post harvest wool research and scholarships every year.

Mr Douglas says it was not affected by the wool levy vote at all so the consortium has resubmitted the application. The income from wool research will be from $1 million to $1.5 million and then hopefully matching funding from industry.

Mr Douglas hopes the wool research consortium will hear back from FORST within a month.