The University of Waikato will be part of a new horticulture-focused regional research institute in the Bay of Plenty.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced late last week that the government would provide $8.42 million over five years with additional funding to come from industry.
The business case was put forward by Tauranga economic development agency Priority One alongside the University of Waikato and a consortium of eight local companies working together as Plantech.
The research focus will be on improving productivity and sustainability in the horticulture sector to drive significant economic benefits for the Bay of Plenty. Plantech will initially focus on research to enable digital automation of devices for growers, including robotics and digital sensing.