Plant & Food Research chief executive David Hughes has advised customers, collaporators and partners of the steps taken to meet the requirements of the COVID-19 National Emergency.
Almost all lab and field research by Plant & Food Research stopped with the imposition of the nation-wide lockdown last week.
But specific authority has been granted to maintain and protect vital biological assets and datasets that underpin the long-term success of primary sector partners.
“We are also permitted to continue in some vital biosecurity surveillance and monitoring.
“Every activity we undertake in these areas has a detailed set of operating procedures designed to ensure that our staff do not create a transmission risk to others in their community and that they themselves are safe. We are one hundred percent committed to a united fight against COVID-19.”
Dr Hughes recalls that Plant & Food Research recently made significant investments in land and buildings designed to increase its capacity to deliver high quality science to industry and New Zealand.
Alongside these assets it has also invested in digital frameworks.
“Our people are therefore well equipped to work from home.
“Much like many of you, hundreds of our staff are now set up at home, on kitchen tables or home offices, working to ensure as much of Plant & Food Research remains open as possible.
“We’re calling it a ‘Virtual Institute’. It’s not easy, but it is starting to work and our teams are giving it all they’ve got.
“I have every confidence they will find all the ways they can to keep delivering for you and contributing to the Smart Green Future we believe we can achieve together.”
The CRI’s business and research teams are busy analysing the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on current and future projects.