MPI welcomes Innovation award enabled by PGP investment

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The Ministry for Primary Industries has welcomed an Innovation Award received by Fonterra last night at the New Zealand Innovation Awards 2016 for its research in infant nutrition—the research was enabled by the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP).

"This Innovation in Food and Beverage Award is fitting acknowledgement of the cutting-edge research enabled under the PGP," says Justine Gilliland, Director Investment Programmes, at the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Fonterra has been researching infant nutrition and the role of gangliosides, a complex lipid in human breast milk that is believed to aid cognitive development in new-borns and toddlers.

"Pediatric nutrition forms an important part in the early development of our children, and this research is ensuring that infant formula provides the necessary nutrition to help grow their minds," says Ms Gilliland.

Last night’s win follows the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain PGP programme’s success at last year’s Innovation Awards where Fonterra received the Innovation Excellence in Research Award for its milk fingerprinting technology.  In 2013, the company also won the Export Innovator of the Year Award for its work in developing premium performance frozen mozzarella.

The research in milk fingerprinting technology, gangliosides and frozen mozzarella was supported by the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain PGP programme.

Transforming the Dairy Value Chain is a seven-year, $170 million innovation programme led by commercial partners, including Fonterra and DairyNZ and partnered by MPI.  It is enabling the creation of new dairy products, increasing on-farm productivity, reducing environmental impacts, and improving agricultural education.

“The win last night is testament to the innovation and world-leading research a government and industry partnership can bring,” says Ms Gilliland.

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