The awards recognise the commercialisation of outstanding science and technology in Australasia, and this was the only award given to a New Zealand company. The AgResearch winning innovation is an endophyte (a fungus) in a fescue grass that has been effective in reducing bird numbers at some New Zealand airports to reduce bird strike. It has the potential for use at airports around the world, as well as parks, orchards and golf courses, in temperate environments.
Mr Pennell says he is extremely pleased to have his innovation recognised out of the 100 or so entrants to the awards. “While I am very honoured by this award I know it was only possible through the assistance and financial support of partners.
“If Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) hadn’t decided to support the idea we may have got no further. CIAL saw the safety potential and allowed us to use their land to test grasses.
“Following this successful trial and development, the Foundation for Arable Research supported the concept in ryegrass to investigate its potential to deter birds in recreational parks, open space landscapes and golf courses as well as orchards.
“Developing the seeds required PGG Wrightson Seeds to fund production and contribute their expertise in seed production and marketing, and AgResearch-owned Grasslanz Technology Ltd to fund patenting of the endophytes.”
“The science environment requires funding and support at all stages and my work has been well supported by these partners who must share in the award by making this New Zealand innovation possible,” said Pennell.
For more information contact:
Chris PennellAgResearch+64 21 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Caradus CEO, Grasslanz Technology Ltd+64 29 351 email@example.com
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