The ‘Speaker’s Science Forum’ provides the opportunity for Members of the New Zealand Parliament to regularly meet New Zealand scientists in Wellington to discuss advances in research and development.
This regular event is organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand in conjunction with the Speaker of Parliament and the Chair of the Parliamentary Education and Science Committee. Topics are chosen in collaboration with Forum partners, which include Science New Zealand, Universities New Zealand and the Independent Research Association of New Zealand.
In April, Lincoln Agritech’s Group Manager of Precision Agriculture, Dr Armin Werner, and Lincoln University Bio-Protection Research Centre’s Director, Prof Travis Glare, gave presentations at the Forum on the theme of “Production, protection and adding value”.
Dr Armin Werner delivered a presentation titled, “Looking into grape vines: science and technology for early stage prediction of grape yield in the vineyard”. This presentation gave an overview of one of Lincoln Agritech’s MBIE-funded research programmes – ‘A sensor- and model-based analyser for block-scale grape yield prediction’. This innovative system, co-funded by New Zealand Wine, will use non-invasive sensing techniques that combine machine vision, microwaves and probability-based bio-economic models to count and predict future fruit yield.
Led by Lincoln Agritech, this collaborative research programme includes scientists from the New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research, Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury and an Australian research organisation; it is supported by New Zealand Wine Growers and several North and South Island vineyards.
This Speaker’s Science Forum was well attended and Dr Werner’s presentation was well received, with the parliamentarians discussing practical aspects of the project and benefits for the New Zealand wine industry.