Monday, July 15, 2024

Food innovation MoU signed in Palmerston North

Two leading research and development centres have signed an agreement in Palmerston North to work together on groundbreaking initiatives in food innovation and technology.

Palmerston North City Council says the Memorandum of Understanding between FoodHQ in Palmerston North and the East China Agricultural Science and Technology Centre in Kunshan will open doors for bilateral cooperation in modern agriculture, smart farming, and talent cultivation for companies, entrepreneurs, and research institutes in both countries.

The agreement came about during a visit by Mayor, Grant Smith and a small delegation to China early this year to celebrate 30 years of friendship between Palmerston North and Kunshan city. During the visit, in-depth discussions to explore possible cooperation in the AgriTech and food science sectors between the two cities led to Food HQ CEO Dr Victoria Hatton going to Kunshan later in April to help put an agreement in place.

A delegation from Kunshan has been in Palmerston North to attend the E Tipu Boma Agri Summit and the formal signing at Palmerston North City Council. The delegates also visited Massey University, New Zealand Plant and Food Research, The Factory, and Goodman Fielder in Longburn to explore business opportunities around the city.

Elected members and representatives from the two research and development centres at the signing of the memorandum of understanding.

Mayor Smith says the agreement shows the importance of Palmerston North’s international relationships in bringing trade and economic development opportunities to the city.

“Partnerships like this show how frequent interactions can lead to enduring friendship and fruitful collaboration. This initiative will bring Palmy and Kunshan’s brightest minds to collaborate on areas of mutual interest in agricultural technology, food safety, and sustainable agriculture,” he said.

“Not only that but both parties will work on bringing the most promising research opportunities to the market both in New Zealand and China and the on a wider global scale.”

With issues around climate change and food security so important around the world at the moment Mayor Smith says one of the agreement’s main goals is to identify a joint research project for collaboration that focuses on developing practical solutions to real-world problems.

“Palmerston North spearheads food innovation nationally with more than 3000 scientists and researchers across the city, the bulk of whom are working on working in this important export sector for New Zealand.”

“With the highest concentration of food research and development in the Southern Hemisphere, having this opportunity to share knowledge and facilities with another economic and scientific powerhouse will enable us to mutually enhance our capabilities and deliver cutting edge products to the global market.

“It’s agreements like this that will put Palmerston North on the global map in terms of bold, innovative ideas and tangible benefits, not just for our educational institutes but for our growers, manufacturers and the service industries that support them.

“Working together toward better outcomes for our people and communities is exactly what the 30 year friendship between Palmerston North and Kunshan city was founded for. It will be very exciting to see what the top minds of these two forward thinking cities can achieve together in the future!” he said.

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