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Funding of almost $14m for eight major research projects

Published: Thu 3 Sep 2015 03:55 PM
Funding of almost $14 million for eight major research projects at University of Auckland
University of Auckland research in environment, health, agriculture and electricity technology received close to $14 million in funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, announced today.
University of Auckland research in environment, health, agriculture and electricity technology received close to $14 million in funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, announced today.
The projects include preparing New Zealand for a growing number of electric cars, a drone device to analyse farm pasture and a major new initiative on family violence prevention.
Other projects include reducing methane emissions from livestock, developing sustainable fish aquaculture foods from seaweed, developing new targets for antimicrobials and increasing production in the dairy goat industry.
University of Auckland Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Distinguished Professor Jane Harding says: “We are delighted with the funding of the new science research programmes announced today which reflect the quality and depth of the research at the University.
“The research, supported by the fund, will deliver benefits to New Zealand and will play a vital role in building a healthier and economically stronger nation.”
Efforts to reduce family violence in New Zealand receive $2.88 million for a four year study to be led by Associate Professor Janet Fanslow from the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health.
The study titled, ‘Developing an evidence based platform for family violence prevention in New Zealand’ will provide an improved understanding of the root causes of violence and violence-related harm.
Funding of $1.20 million over three years is provided to develop a smart acoustic sensor for estimating pasture biomass, a critical part of modern farming. The project is led by Professor Stuart Bradley of the University’s Department of Physics in partnership with AgResearch and agricultural supplies industry leader Gallagher.
A project to make electricity supply smarter and more efficient, called Local Demand Control (LDC), receives $2.39 million in funding over four years. This research, led by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Grant Covic and Emeritus Professor John Boys, focuses on smart technologies that are able to take advantage of renewable energy sources without compromising the integrity of the existing grid.
Other University of Auckland projects include developing sustainable fish aquaculture foods from seaweed which receives $990,500 over two years. The project is led by School of Biological Sciences Professor Kendall Clements.
Development of dairy goat milking output for increased production of dairy goat infant formula is led by Professor Russell Snell and Associate Professor Klaus Lehnert from the School of Biological Sciences. The project receives $3.63 million over three years.
Modulating pathogen-host communication to develop new targets for antimicrobials receives $999,346 in funding over two years and is led by Dr Anthony Phillips, also from the School of Biological Sciences.
A device for assessment of visual function for use with young children is led by Research Fellow Jason Turuwhenua of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and receives $999,986 over two years.
A project to mitigate methane emission from livestock receives $836,000 over two years and is let by Research Fellow Verne Lee from the School of Biological Sciences.

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