Science merger derailed by gobal crisis
23rd Apr 10, 5:14pm
The outgoing AgResearch chief executive, Andy West, says the failed merger bid is the biggest regret of his six-year stint at the CRI.West wants a future government to “definitely take a system-wide view of universities and CRIs”. He believes the merger of AgResearch and Lincoln would have been “a bold move” for NZ. It was mooted by the two parties in November 2008 and a public announcement was made in March last year. However, six months later the talks were called off and both parties decided that a partnership would deliver more benefits than a full amalgamation.West says the merger process was derailed by the global financial crisis.“We were funding the merger with our own resources,” he told Rural News. “As the global financial crisis worsened, we were wondering what was going to happen to research funding and international student numbers. “They are some really huge costs associated with the merger and suddenly you are uncertain about your revenues. “So, at some point we had to stop the process.Asked if his departure is directly linked to the failed merger, West says he “really felt” that a merger was the best future for the two organisations.