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New Zealand Grants $17M for Genomics Facility

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A New Zealand consortium led by the University of Otago will receive NZ$26.5 million (US$16.5 million) from the government to develop a genomics research facility.

University of Otago Professor Anthony Reeve confirmed that the consortium, which includes the University of Aukland, Massey University, and AgResearch and other Crown Research Institutes, will receive the funds for a genomics facility.

In line with the original funding plan, which was announced in September, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology plans for Otago University to administer the funding through a trading company called New Zealand Genomics Ltd. It plans to use the money to buy genetic sequencing tools, bioinformatics equipment, and to hire staff. That plan originally called for NZ$40 million to be given to the collaboration over nine years to conduct gene sequencing and analysis for customers from New Zealand and from abroad.

Reeve told GenomeWeb Daily News in an e-mail that the funding has not necessarily been cut by NZ$13.5 million, but that the money is "essentially the same," although for a shorter period.

Reeve expects that the university will probably use some of the funding to buy a third-generation sequencer.

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