Exciting changes at Opus

August 2018: In December 2017, Opus International Consultants was acquired by a leading global infrastructure consultancy firm WSP and has recently been rebranded as WSP Opus, with the research division becoming WSP Opus Research.

In their latest InTouch newsletter, Wendy Turvey National Manager WSP Opus Research said the move has greatly broadened the research division’s capacity to become involved with exciting and innovative projects. “As part of an organisation of 43,000 minds operating across 40 countries, we are now better placed than ever to benefit our clients through increased ease of access to international best-practice skills, technologies and innovations across the spectrum of professional infrastructure expertise.

Breast cancer research investigating vaccines to prevent relapse

August 2018: The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research’s cancer immunotherapy team has been given the green light to investigate new potential vaccines for breast cancer thanks to a Health Research Council (HRC), Breast Cancer Cure and Breast Cancer Foundation NZ grant.

The research, led by Dr Robert Weinkove, Clinical Director at the Malaghan Institute, will focus on new classes of cancer vaccines, which aim to target the disease.

New science platforms at IROs

July 2018: New six-year strategic science platforms have been established at the  Cawthron Institute to support research to improve the performance of New Zealand's seafood safety  and shellfish aquaculture, and at the Leather and Shoe Research Association (LASRA) to support hide and skin processing industries. These science platforms are part of the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF), supporting programmes and infrastructure of enduring importance to New Zealand. In June, the Health Research Council also announced similar strategic research support for the Malaghan Institute and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand 

Aqualinc irrigation research shows nitrogen leaching can be reduced

July 2018: Significant reductions to nitrogen (N) leaching can be achieved by changing irrigation management practices, and new research has demonstrated just how big those benefits can be.

A study led by Dr John Bright, Director Research and Development at Aqualinc Research Ltd, and funded by the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, has shown that it is possible to achieve an average of 27% reduction in N loss. The researchers experimented with a different approach than the current practice of irrigating if the soil moisture content drops below 50% of its ‘plant available’ water.

“We looked at lower irrigation trigger points to see if they provided any benefits,” explains John. “This meant the soil was allowed to dry out more than usual. We also looked at different irrigation targets – varying the soil moisture content we aim to achieve through irrigation”.

Independent Research Association of New Zealand

IRANZ is an association of independent research organisations. IRANZ represents the collective interests of members by undertaking activities aimed at creating a positive operating environment for Independent Research Organisations in New Zealand.

IRANZ member organisations make vital contributions to a broad range of scientific fields, and offer an important complement to university-based and Crown Research Institute research. Our smaller sizes and greater flexibility provide an environment that is particularly conducive to innovation and end-user engagement.

IRANZ member organisations:

  • Are ‘independent’ (non-government owned);
  • Carry out high-quality scientific research, development or technology transfer;
  • Have strong linkages with end-users;
  • Work in a diverse range of settings and subject specialities;
  • Derive a significant portion of their work from Government research contracts;
  • Collaborate with universities, Crown Research Institutes and research departments of industrial organisations; and
  • Having varying governance and ownership arrangements.

Find out more about IRANZ and our members by checking out our News page.