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There's a bit of a scale-up conundrum in New Zealand for people wanting to produce value-added bioactive products from a biological base.

Yes, the small(ish) laboratory-scale work can be carried out OK.

But where do you go for that next level of production - where you need more product to validate the market, but aren't yet confident enough that the market exists?

Such pilot processing capacity is something the dairy and meat industries could well do with says New Image Group general manager health sciences, Guy Wills.

"The industry's well set up for large scale production, not for small scale," says the team leader who initiated and is now developing the market for a natural dairy-based sleep-enhancer (see sticK story here).

"It's something the industries and government could well look at from a platform and capability point of view. It's a real challenge for the industries looking for innovative, value-adding products."

Wills mentioned that the good people at Enterprising Manukau, as part of the Food Innovation Network were extremely useful in the original scaling up for their product.

sticK would've loved to talk to them, especially as a new facility is being built right now - something that would address some of what Will's is talking about.

But, Enterprising Manukau's now come under the conglomerate and amalgamation known as Auckland City. It even has a new name - Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd. Let's hope the order of its names doesn't reflect the importance assigned to its components.

The number of new hoops, and ticks to be put in boxes by bureaucrats further up the line by the person I'd need to talk to about this necessary and exciting initiative makes reporting on it problematic to the point of 'forget it'.

To employ a well-know beer's pre-Christmas billboard comment - Auckland's super……yeh right!

Where's our middle ground between laboratory and large scale?

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