An agricultural science leader is questioning whether Crown Research Institutes should continue to be required to provide a 9% return on equity to the Government.
Professor Jon Hickford from Lincoln University, the new president of the Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science, says there are better ways of measuring a research institute's performance than a simple cash return on investment.
He says profits may not be made on science research for 20 or 30 years.
Professor Hickford says institutes will make make discoveries and new findings, but could also be measured on how they maintain good working relationships with scientists elsewhere in the world so information can be exchanged.
He says Crown Research Institutes should be considered as a public good entity rather than a money-making venture.