Scion Annual Report showcases a successful year

For Immediate Release
12 October 2017

Today, Scion issued its annual report for the 12 months ending 30 June 2017 presenting a successful year for the Rotorua-based Crown research institute.

Chair Tony Nowell says Scion’s 70-year legacy of delivering science impact gives the institute the confidence to think boldly about the future.

“We firmly believe in forestry. Indeed, we see the power of trees as a renewable resource, coupled with our science capabilities, meeting the market needs of a low-carbon bio-based economy.

“I am excited by Scion’s unique contribution to shaping a truly sustainable future for New Zealand. In our annual report, we are proud to present some of the past year’s achievements that are stepping us towards our vision as we help unleash the power of forestry to deliver prosperity from trees.”

Mr Nowell said a special highlight of the year was Scion’s partnership with Ngāti Whare to co-develop a novel propagation technology for indigenous trees. Now Ngāti Whare is using the technology in its new state-of-the-art commercial nursery in Minginui, which will be opening local employment and economic opportunities as demand for indigenous forestry increases.

Another highlight of the year were the awards received recognising Scion’s environmentally-friendly Ligate™ bioadhesive. In a world first, the Scion bioadhesives team developed 100 per cent biobased-adhesives and resins that could replace formaldehyde-emitting adhesives. Made from natural sources, including forestry and agricultural waste, these bioadhesives and resins are petrochemical-free, have very low formaldehyde emissions and can be made and used in existing manufacturing operations. With an increasing interest in sustainable alternatives in the global wood adhesives market the opportunity for this environmentally friendly glue to become commercially successful is very promising.

Key achievements in the Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future research programme are summarised in the report. The programme has made significant progress towards increasing productivity and profitability, and demonstrated that increasing site utilisation by increasing final crop stocking can substantially lift productivity, and many companies are altering their silvicultural regimes to reflect this.

The report also presents the successful outcome of feasibility study for an inland container terminal at Kawerau, with a rail link to the Port of Tauranga. A total annual saving of approximately $4 million in avoided transport costs is expected once the container terminal is fully operational, in addition to a net reduction in vehicle emissions and decreased congestion on the roads. Establishment of the container terminal is now progressing.

During the year Scion continued to invest in infrastructure and a safe and healthy work environment. In October, the Science and Innovation Minister approved a business case for enhanced science and office facilities plus design of an Innovation Hub at the Rotorua campus.

Chief Executive Dr Julian Elder said, “Our plans to create an Innovation Hub that will increase innovation and impact through co-location with industry and greater access to facilities have been well received by our stakeholders.”

Financially 2016-17 was a good year for Scion. Revenue grew 4.6 per cent to $51.9 million (budget $50.3 million) providing a net profit after tax of $2.3 million (budget $1.6 million), and cash reserves increased to $15.5 million (budget $7.3 million) supported by an $8.4 million net cash surplus from operating activities.

“This positions us well for reinvesting back into the organisation such as through the construction of the innovation hub and other significant science and building infrastructure planned over the coming five years,” said Dr Elder.

Scion’s complete Annual Report can be downloaded from