IIASA recently welcomed high-level visitors from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR) — one of the Crown Research Institutes of New Zealand.

The IIASA Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services (AFE) Research Group has been developing relationships with research institutions from New Zealand, particularly the country’s Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), for more than five years.

The resulting collaborations have already reaped results, culminating in the award of a New Zealand Royal Society Catalyst Fund to IIASA researchers and their partners in New Zealand – Plant and Food Research (PFR), Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research (MW-LC), and the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited (SCION). This joint award was granted for their work on next generation approaches to assess broad implications of agricultural landscapes in New Zealand. Their first case-study explores biophysical and techno-economic aspects of novel supply-chains for plant-protein production from lucerne crops in New Zealand.

The project is co-developed and coordinated by senior IIASA researcher Sylvain Leduc in the AFE Research Group and Edmar Teixeira, a former IIASA postdoc, who is now a senior scientist at PFR and a guest researcher in AFE.

In the first week of November, PFR Chief Scientist, Richard Newcomb, and Paul Johnstone, PFR General Science Manager for Sustainable Production visited IIASA to learn more about the institute and explore future collaborations, particularly with regard to the linkage between the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment and Horizon Europe.

As part of their visit, the PRF representatives also met with IIASA Acting Director General, Wolfgang Lutz, and Capacity Development and Academic Training Dean, Fabian Wagner, who provided an overview of IIASA and the capacity building activities at the institute. In addition, Newcomb and Johnstone presented their work at PFR, and met with Teixeira to discuss the ongoing New Zealand-IIASA CATALYST Project.

Finally, they were also introduced to IIASA program directors and research group leaders, who provided an overview of their scope of work at IIASA and the New IIASA Flagship Report: Systems Analysis for Sustainable Wellbeing.