A successful year for Scion

3 October 2013

Crown Research Institute Scion has reported many successes in its Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 2013, from a revenue growth of 3.7% (including interest income) to many research and technology advancements.

Scion Chairman Tony Nowell says the institute continues to make excellent progress in fulfilling its Statement of Core Purpose. Scion’s science, technology and thought-leadership are helping to strengthen the forest industry’s international competitiveness and develop future growth options.

“Our role in protecting and enhancing market access and improving risk management for the New Zealand forest industry cannot be understated.

“During the past year, for example, in our forest health and protection research area we have had some exciting developments that demonstrate real benefit to New Zealand. In other areas too, we have had successes that are potentially game-changing along the forestry value chain,” said Mr Nowell.

Research and technology highlights from the year included developing a new fire weather monitoring system and support tools for rural fire fighters; demonstrating significant periods where methyl bromide fumigation is unlikely to be required for export logs; developing the techno-economic evaluation model called Woodscape for the NZ Wood Council; identifying the genetic structure of Pinus radiata DNA; and discovering how remote sensing technology can transform the industry by allowing forest managers to obtain precise single-tree data.

Other achievements included the global Sonae Industria Group running successful large-scale trials of Scion’s wood fibre reinforced plastic technology, known as Woodforce, and extending their licence to commercialise the Woodforce technology to North America. 

Scion, with Rotorua District Council, secured a $4.7m grant from the Waste Minimisation Fund to build a full scale commercial demonstration plant for the TERAX technology. This technology converts municipal sewage sludge and organic forest industry waste into energy and useful chemical products.

Another highlight was the official opening of the Orman Laboratory Wing by the Minister of Science and Innovation, the Hon. Steven Joyce in October last year. In June, the laboratory won the International Laboratory Building Award at the S-Lab 2013 Awards held in Liverpool.

The financial result for the year ending 30 June 2013 was healthy. Chairman Tony Nowell says despite a challenging trading environment, and reduced expenditure by Scion’s main Government clients, revenue grew to a pleasing $45.5m, even if slightly under budget.

Scion Chief Executive Warren Parker says Scion’s profit before interest and tax of $2.40m and net profit after tax of $1.66m both exceeded budget.

“The favourable return on equity and margins seen over recent years has continued. This year Scion realised a pre- and post-reinvestment return on equity of 8.2% and 5.8% respectively (compared with 7.6% and 4.8% budgeted).

“We have much to be proud of. In addition, to our research performance achievements we made significant investment into strategic initiatives, such as staff secondments, technology commercialisation, and supporting Maori economic development.

“Following this strong year, we are well poised to respond to challenges and the significant new opportunities ahead presented by structural changes occurring in the forestry industry, the establishment of Callaghan Innovation, and the Government’s National Science Challenges,” said Dr Parker.

Scion’s complete Annual Report can be downloaded from the company’s website at www.scionresearch.com/publications/annualreports