The New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research

The third and final round of the New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research opened on Monday 5 August 2013. Indicative dates are listed below.

The following application documents are available for download:

National roadshow to promote the funding round

A national roadshow to promote the funding round was held in the last week of August 2013. Download a copy of the presentation given at the roadshow.

22 November 2013, 2pm Final date to ask questions
2 December 2013, 2pm New Zealand Standard Time Closing date for Expressions of Interest
31 March 2014 (indicative) EOIs submitters notified and full proposals requested from successful applicants
22 September 2014, 2pm New Zealand Standard Time (indicative) Closing date for full applications
October-December 2014 (indicative) Full proposals independently reviewed, assessed by the Technical Assessment Panel and final decisions made by MPI
January 2015 (indicative) Selections completed and notifications sent
January 2015 (indicative) Contract negotiations start
March/April 2015 (indicative) Projects commence

 

About the Fund

The New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research (the Fund) is a contestable international research fund set up by New Zealand in 2011, in support of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. The Fund is aimed at accelerating global research into mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral livestock farming. It draws on the $45 million that the New Zealand Government committed to the Alliance in 2009, and is allocated over seven years, ending 30 June 2019. Two funding rounds have been held to date. Details of successful projects from these rounds are listed at the bottom of this page.

The Fund is open to international scientists, and multi-stakeholder/country consortia bids are encouraged. International co-funding is expected in all projects and is required in projects where more than 10% of the budget sought from the Fund is to be paid to a non-New Zealand institution. Projects can be led by a New Zealand participant or one from an Alliance member country but if the latter, must meet minimum New Zealand participation requirements.

The final portfolio of projects seeks to balance innovative science with the achievement of cost-effective and sustainable solutions for livestock farmers in New Zealand and around the world.

Details of the third funding round

The total funding available for the third and final round is NZ$10 million, supporting projects up to four years in duration (ending 30 June 2019). The size of individual proposals is expected to be in the range of NZ$1-4 million over the four years.

Like the previous two rounds, the third round seeks proposals in response to a set of high-level research challenges that were identified by an international strategic science panel, chaired by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman. These challenges are in the areas of:

  • Manipulating rumen function
    Research that leads to the development of practical and safe ways to manipulate rumen microbial communities and/or ruminant physiology in grazing ruminants such that methane per unit of feed intake is sustainably reduced, animal health and nutrition is maintained and animal productivity maintained or increased.
  • Reducing nitrous oxide emissions from soils in predominantly grazing livestock systems
    Research that will further develop and extend practical and cost effective methods of manipulating nitrification and de-nitrification processes in soils to consistently reduce nitrous oxide emissions and nitrogen losses to the environment from soils under grazing livestock and within a broad range of geographic and climatic conditions.
  • Manipulating the rates of soil carbon change in predominantly grazing livestock systems
    Research which identifies and quantifies management practices that can increase long-term soil carbon storage in grazing livestock systems under varying (and changing) climatic conditions, different soil conditions and management histories while maintaining or increasing pasture and animal productivity.

Successful projects from rounds 1 and 2

Two funding rounds have been held to date. Round 1 opened in 2011 and supported projects of up to four years duration and Round 2 opened in 2012 and supported projects of up to three years duration.

Round 1 outcomes

Round 1 of the Fund was opened in 2011 and sought proposals in response to one or more of four grand research challenges.

  • Challenge One: Manipulating rumen function
  • Challenge Two: Reducing nitrous oxide emissions from soils in predominantly grazing livestock systems
  • Challenge Three: Manipulating the rates of soil carbon change in predominantly grazing livestock systems
  • Challenge Four: Improved tools for farmer decision making in predominantly grazing livestock systems.

Four projects, totalling NZ$6.62 million, were approved for funding from round 1, in two of the four research challenges:

  • "Deep sequencing the rumen microbiome" ($2.0 million)
    This project is led by Dr Graeme Attwood from AgResearch, New Zealand and also involves researchers from Australia (CSIRO), France (INRA), Ireland (Teagasc) and the USA (Joint Genome Institute). The project aims to deep sequence the rumen microbiome in order to better understand the processes that contribute to methane formation in sheep and cattle.
  • "Accelerated discovery of methanogen-specific inhibitors" ($1.12 million)
    This project is led by Dr Ron Ronimus from AgResearch, New Zealand and also involves New Zealand resarchers from the University of Otago, as well as researchers from Australia (CSIRO), Japan (University of Hokkaido) and the US (University of Georgia and Ohio State University). The main goal of this project is to develop a high-throughput screening method for rapidly identifying novel anti-methanogen inhibitors, based on the efficient testing of inhibitors against methanogens growing in 96-well culture plates.
  • "Vaccine to reduce methane emissions in ruminants" ($1.0 million)
    This project is led by Dr Neil Wedlock of AgResearch, New Zealand and also involves New Zealand researchers from the University of Otago, as well as researchers from Australia (CSIRO). The team aims to identify adjuvants (substances that trigger production of antibody responses to the vaccine) to produce a vaccine which targets methanogens in the rumen.
  • "Animal delivery of DCD in urine by provision in feeds" ($2.5 million)
    This project is led by Dr Stewart Ledgard of AgResearch, New Zealand and also involves New Zealand researchers from Dairy NZ as well as researchers from Australia (Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Dairy Australia, DAFF and Melbourne University) and Ireland (Teagasc). The project aims to develop a cost-effective nitrous oxide mitigation technique, based on animal delivery of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) in urine via provision in feeds. This will be evaluated in field plot and grazing system studies across different locations in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland.

No projects were successful against challenge three or four.

Round 2 outcomes

Round 2 of the Fund was opened in 2012 and sought proposals in response to the same four research challenges as round 1.

Three projects, totaling NZ$2.36 million, were approved for funding from round 2, in two of the four research challenges:

  • "Reducing N2O emissions from urine patches through accelerating N2O reduction" (NZ$1.08 million):
    This project is led by Dr Sergio Morales from the University of Otago, New Zealand and also involves New Zealand researchers from AgResearch and Lincoln University as well as researchers from Ireland (Teagasc) and Norway (University of Life Sciences). The aim of this project is to build on recent advances in microbial and molecular techniques to identify the regulators of denitification, specifically those of nitrous oxide reductase (N2OR) at the microbial level.
  • "Fast-tracking development of methanogen-specific inhibitors" (NZ$1.17 million):
    This project is led by Dr Ron Ronimus of AgResearch, New Zealand and also involves New Zealand researchers from the University of Otago as well as researchers from the US (University of Georgia). This project hypothesises (a) that a small-scale in vitro test can be developed that will increase throughput 10-fold; (b) that by enhancing our understanding of the chemical transformation process in the rumen, the development of small molecule inhibitors can be markedly accelerated; and (c) that novel new inhibitors can be discovered.
  • "Disruption of rumen microbial interspecies hydrogen transfer to reduce ruminant methane emissions" (NZ$100,000):
    This project is led by Dr Dragana Gagic of AgResearch, New Zealand and also involves New Zealand researchers from Massey University as well as researchers from Germany (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research). This is a one year proof-of-concept project to investigate whether blocking the physical association between rumen methanogens and bacterial hydrogen producers has an effect on methane formation. Furthermore, we will evaluate the feasibility to develop an (cost) effective and nontoxic delivery mechanism of these blockers, based on nanophage technology.

No projects were successful against challenge three or four.

Contact MPI

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