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The government may have signaled that the Crown Research Institutes aren’t as obliged as they have been in the past to fire ‘profits’ back to their owner, but that shouldn’t stop New Zealand checking out how well they’ve performed in the past year.

With all the CRI’s annual reports showing up at once, it can be difficult to have a handle on what their performance has been.

A breakdown of the reports, along with selected highlights of the CRIs consider that they're delivering, show a research sector looking to engage more with its core customers and clients.

As usual all the CRIs reported in different ways, highlighting areas they considered significant.

Before-tax profit of $3.240m, but a one-off tax adjustment of $3.170m meant a net loss of $0.978m for the year. Four goals:
• Increase the value and profitability of NZ’s forests
• Optimise the value of marginal land
• Accelerate development of bioproducts from renewable resources
• Maximise the quality and impact of Scion’s science

Surplus before tax of $2m, but one-off removal of tax depreciation on buildings required an $11m adjustment, for a net loss after tax of -$9m. It is concentrating on five major areas of opportunity:
• Help create the future dairy industry
• Help create the future meat industries
• Help create the future textiles and biomaterials industries
• Help achieve a pest and disease-free NZ
• Enable capacity for change in agriculture and its future communities

Plant & Food Research
Operating profit of $5.544m, impairment of profit and one-off adjustments resulted in net loss of $5.683m. Concentrating its efforts on:
• Better cultivars faster
• Residue-free pest and disease control
• More sustainable and profitable systems
• Proprietary foods with price premiums

Institute of Environmental Science and Research
Profit before tax of $4.501m, adjustments due to tax changes resulted in net loss of $0.518m. Provides science advice and services to government agencies, local authorities and the private sector, with core initiatives in:
• Intelligent systems
• Forensic
• Environmental health
• Social science

Landcare Research
Surplus before tax of $2.905m, adjustments due to depreciation changes resulted in net loss of $1.323m. Core expertise in:
• Biosystematics and nationally significant biological collections
• Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem processes
• National vegetation monitoring systems
• Environmental assessments and management
• Infomatics and integrative modeling capability
• Policy advice and evaluation

Industrial Research Ltd.
Surplus before tax of $2.158m, adjustments for building depreciation resulted in a net surplus after tax of $0.168m. During the year brought its seven science groups under three clusters:
• Advanced manufacturing technologies – energy and materials group, engineering and applied physics group, high temperature superconductors group
• Industrial biotechnologies – carbohydrate chemistry group, GlycoSyn, integrated bioactive technologies group
• Measurement standards laboratory

GNS Science
Profit before tax of $2.384m, profit after tax of $1.048m. Came up with 50 specific ways it delivers benefits to NZ, which can be summarised as:
• Security and wealth from energy, mineral and water resources
• Mitigation of the economic and social effects of geological hazards
• Development of new technologies such as nano-scale devices and non-invasive scanning

Earnings before interest and tax of $9.5m, depreciation changes resulted in net surplus after tax of $4.5m. Generates economic benefit for NZ through:
• Using its knowledge to help others derive economic benefit from the efficient and effective use of NZ’s natural resources and infrastructure
• Providing solutions that reduce or eliminate risks from natural or human-induced environmental impacts on economic activities
• Conducting technical and market assessments of business opportunities arising from its science, so that investment risk is better understood
• Being open to joint ventures with the private sector where this encourages start-up of new economic activity
• Working collaboratively with other parts of government to ensure that first adopters are appropriately supported and that government investment is aligned and effective

CRIs show creativity in annual reports to government

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