Delivering the latest technologies relies on research-business links


The pipeline that delivers the new endophytes, ryegrass and clover cultivars featured in Inside Dairy requires investment in basic science, product development and field evaluation. Government, DairyNZ and agribusiness all invest in this pipeline.

PublicationNew Zealand dairy farmers lead the world in the uptake of cost-effective knowledge, technologies and products to improve production, profitability and to maintain environmental integrity.

Likewise, New Zealand research scientists are seeking to provide knowledge, technologies and products to assist dairy farmers in the same key areas – production, profitability and environmental integrity.

However scientists rarely, if ever, sell technologies and products directly to farmers.

This is most frequently achieved through commercial companies which license the technology or product, then manufacture and sell it to the farmer.

Grasslanz Technology Ltd, a subsidiary of AgResearch, develops new products and technologies by partnering and jointly funding research projects with seed companies and investment organisations.

The seed company’s investment in new product development is rewarded through joint ownership in the resulting technology and/or exclusive distribution rights.

This relationship is win-win with both parties sharing the risk and rewards of R&D investment.

Product development funded by Grasslanz Technology results in proprietary cultivars, grass endophytes, and outputs from plant biotechnology and genomics research.

These technologies are licensed to seed companies which deliver them through seed to farmers.

New products are created by investing royalty revenue in development projects, primarily with AgResearch.

In the case of forage cultivar development, the following process (which takes at least 10 years) is followed:

  • Concept development leading to plant breeding and evaluation in a range of environments
  • Plant variety rights and IP management of the finished product
  • Nucleus seed production – the first large scale seed increase which is held for future larger scale commercial seed production, ensuring genetic purity of the cultivar
  • Commercial seed production
  • Market delivery and value creation.

John Caradus,
CEO, Grasslanz
Technology Ltd