24 Sep 2008

Crown research institutes to merge

11:51 am on 24 September 2008

Two Crown research institutes have the green light from the Government to merge.

Subject to Commerce Commission approval, HortResearch and Crop & Food Research will merge to form a new institute at the beginning of December.

Their boards announced last month they were investigating a possible merger, based on areas of common interest and the fact that they already collaborate in many areas.

HortResearch currently has 541 employees and earns around $65 million a year. Crop & Food Research currently has 380 employees and earns around $56 million annually.

Minister for Research Science and Technology Pete Hodgson says the merger will combine their knowledge and expertise in sustainable production, elite genetics and smart breeding, and food and health.

He says there are no proposed closures of sites, but employees in some areas may be brought together in the same location.

HortResearch's current chair Jim McLean will chair the new institute, which is yet to be named.