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Harraways boosts Food Science at Otago

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 8:57pm

harraways-signing-image
Formalising the donation of $100,000 from Harraways to the University of Otago’s Department of Food Science on Friday were (back row, from left) Harraways Board Director Deans Hudson, Otago Council member Stuart McLachlan, Otago Pro-Chancellor Dr Roydon Somerville and Harraways Board Director Ross Hudson and (front row, from left) Otago Chancellor John Ward, Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne and Harraways Chairman Dr Trevor Scott. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Dunedin breakfast cereal manufacturer Harraway & Son Ltd formalised a significant donation to the University of Otago’s Department of Food Science on Friday, marking a milestone 150 years in the making.

The $100,000 donation was announced by Harraways company chairman Trevor Scott at their 150th anniversary celebrations earlier this month and establishes the Harraways 1867 Visiting Professorship for the Department of Food Science. The donation will be split into a yearly grant for five years, at $20,000 for visiting professors.

The formal ceremony was held in the University Council Chambers and attended by around 40 University staff and Harraways representatives.

"The Department of Food Science has been invaluable in helping us develop new products and allowing us to tap into that knowledge and scientific expertise."

Harraways Chief Executive Officer Stuart Hammer says the donation marks a long association with the University in the food science area.

"The University has been an important resource for us in a number of different ways. The Department of Food Science has been invaluable in helping us develop new products and allowing us to tap into that knowledge and scientific expertise," he says.

"We have also been able to employ excellent graduates and each year we also engage undergraduate food science students to carry out projects that have generated great new ideas. In more recent years we have also enjoyed a strong relationship with staff and students in the Department of Marketing, drawing from their knowledge in areas such as digital marketing."

Mr Hammer says the Harraways 1867 Visiting Professorship is about Harraways giving back to a greater degree. It will bring added expertise into the country, which will help not just the local community but New Zealand as a whole.

Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne, who proudly attended the ceremony, says gifts such as the Harraways 1867 Visiting Professorship highlight the strong links Otago has developed with the business community.

"...this fellowship will strengthen the collaboration and exchange of ideas between the University of Otago and other institutions, and broaden the current international network of the Food Science Department."

"It also underscores the fact these links are not simply lip service but are strong, practical relationships which see us share expertise and provide talented, workplace-ready graduates in meaningful roles with successful companies. It is especially gratifying to see this happen with such an iconic Dunedin brand."

Head of the Department of Food Science Indrawati Oey says the 1867 Harraways Visiting Professorship fellowship will be great for both the Department and the wider University – attracting prominent, high-calibre professors in research, teaching and with industrial links from around the world.

"Their contribution to our teaching and research will advance our current knowledge in food science and technology and improve our capability in providing advice and service to governmental agencies and food industries. In addition, this fellowship will strengthen the collaboration and exchange of ideas between the University of Otago and other institutions, and broaden the current international network of the Food Science Department.

"The Department sincerely thanks Harraways & Sons Ltd for its generous gift to us. We will certainly use this funding wisely to improve our teaching, research and service."

Activities involving the visiting experts are expected to include public lectures, seminars and workshops which would also be open to other universities, research institutes, governmental bodies and industries.