Callaghan Innovation research teams to transfer to Victoria University

Two Callaghan Innovation research teams will join Victoria University of Wellington early in the new year under a transfer agreement between the two organisations.

The carbohydrate chemistry team, led by Dr Richard Furneaux, will become the Ferrier Research Institute, while the superconductivity and energy team, led by Dr Bob Buckley, will become the Robinson Research Institute. The new University institutes will remain at their current Gracefield location and will continue to offer the same services, delivering on existing contracts.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh said Victoria welcomed the teams which would further strengthen the University’s research capabilities, particularly in the fields of biomedical science and engineering.

“These are two world class science teams that will add to the University’s growing expertise and reputation in these important areas.”

Professor Walsh said Victoria was committed to supporting Professor Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision of achieving greater commercialisation of innovation for a more productive New Zealand. “This transfer is certainly complementary to that vision.”


Ferrier Research Institute

The Ferrier Research Institute is named after former Victoria University Professor of Chemistry, Robin Ferrier. Its research programme will include:

  • the discovery and commercialisation of ‘glycotherapeutics’; drug treatments developed from carbohydrate materials
  • pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies focused on bile technologies
  • chemical immunology
  • complex carbohydrate analytical methodology applied to functional foods and bioactive ingredients
  • industrial polymer chemistry.

Robinson Research Institute

The Robinson Research Institute is named after Dr Bill Robinson, inventor of the lead rubber bearing seismic isolation device and recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Victoria University in 1995. The institute’s research programme will include the development and/or application of:

  • superconductor devices such as rotating machines, transformers, scientific magnets and MRI systems
  • superconducting Roebel cable and other specialist conductors
  • novel electronic and magnetic materials
  • magnetic sensors in non-destructive testing and other fields
  • novel technologies into infrastructure networks for better asset management.