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Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre in Palmerston North employs many of the world’s leading experts in dairy research and development, and has done so since 1927 when its research began.

The company’s work at the facility includes unlocking new applications from milk and developing specialised ingredients to help reduce the risk of allergies, boost immunity and address bone health, among other focuses.

As part of CEDA’s work to develop and grow a skilled workforce in Manawatū, our Business Growth Advisor Research and Development connected Fonterra with 15 undergraduate students from Massey University to work on specific projects over the university’s summer break.

As the Regional Business Partner for Manawatū-Whanganui, CEDA partners with Callaghan Innovation to connect businesses and tertiary students via Research and Development Experience Grants. The funding is for 10 weeks and the number of grants that a company can get is related to the number of research and development staff they employ, with the maximum being 15.

The students worked on diverse projects for Fonterra including food functionality, and processing plant hygiene studies through to the mechanical design of equipment used in the manufacture of dairy products.

The 15 students benefited from the experience gained in a world-class research facility where they worked with more than 350 researchers, many of whom have PhDs in Food Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Engineering, Information Technology and Mechatronics.

Fonterra Research and Development Centre sees the scheme as an ideal stepping stone to give undergraduate students a real-life research and development experience, and this is an example of how CEDA connects businesses with talent to help retain the exceptional students in Manawatū and showcase the career opportunities within the region.

For more information about Fonterra, visit their website.

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