Who we are

Crown Research Institutes

Crown Research Institutes are the science research businesses owned by the Crown (i.e. the Government) in New Zealand. They were formed in 1992 from existing government-owned research bodies, the largest of which was the DSIR (Department of Scientific & Industrial Research) established in 1926.

The Crown Research Institutes are, collectively, the largest dedicated providers of science research in New Zealand. They are also some of New Zealand’s most significant commercial users of science and technology, and often the largest integrated providers in their sectors in the world.

They are:

  • AgResearch
  • ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research)
  • GNS Science
  • Landcare Research
  • NIWA
  • Plant & Food Research
  • Scion

More than 3,600 people across seven research companies, dedicated to research providing benefit to New Zealand – working regionally, nationally and globally across sectors and across geographies.

Our people work with the world’s leading researchers because they too are part of that elite. They lead global teams, doing the research and providing the underpinning for global policy debates and science-based solutions. Our people are critical elements in the nation’s intelligence – bringing back home the insights, knowledge and connections that deliver real results for New Zealand businesses and communities.

They are organised around providing solutions to New Zealand’s critical issues for the economy, environment and our society. New technologies, new solutions, time-critical work with people who understand the need to deliver results and work in partnership. They will build the teams needed to get to the answers.

They don’t stop with today – they are already thinking through and working on what is coming up to affect the lives of our children and further generations. Some of their insights will astonish, and give advantage to those with the courage to embrace new thinking and new possibilities.

The Crown Research Institutes undertake blue-sky and applied science and technology research and development. More than that, they see their job as encouraging ideas that deliver results, be it quality policy advice or great commercial products and services. Their clients include central and local government and private sector markets in New Zealand and abroad.

Each Crown Research Institute has its own Board of Directors and management, responsible for expressing the policies of their own organisation.

Our Purpose

We’re here to enhance the value, productivity and profitability of New Zealand’s pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sector value chains to contribute to economic growth and beneficial environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand. We partner with the pastoral sector to identify and deliver the innovation that is needed to create value for New Zealand. We’re a vibrant organisation with staff spread across four campuses and nine research farms in the Waikato, Manawatu, Canterbury and Otago.

We are the lead CRI in the following areas:

  • Pasture-based animal production systems
  • New pasture plant varieties
  • Agriculture-derived greenhouse gas mitigation and pastoral climate change adaption
  • Agri-food and bio-based products and agri-technologies
  • Integrated social and biophysical research