NZSG Background

New Zealand’s Investment in the Australian Synchrotron

In 2006 New Zealand joined other shareholders as a Foundation Investor in the Australian Synchrotron, which is located near Monash University in Melbourne. Each Foundation Investor contributed AUD$5 million as equity towards the cost of building beamlines at the Synchrotron.
The New Zealand investor is the New Zealand Synchrotron Group Limited; a company formed by Auckland, Massey, Waikato, Victoria, Lincoln, Canterbury and Otago universities, Plant & Food Research Ltd, AgResearch Ltd, GNS Science and Industrial Research Limited. In addition to funds provided by these institutions, the New Zealand Government contributed grants totalling some AUD$5 million between 2007 and 2011 to assist with the purchase of shares and meeting operating cost obligations. The Government is not a shareholder in the company.
The other Foundation Investors comprise various combinations of Australian State Governments and universities. The Victorian State Government met most of the capital costs and hence is a major investor in its own right. New Zealand’s ownership stake in Australian Synchrotron (Holding) Company and annual contribution towards operating costs has guaranteed an agreed level of access to beamlines essential to our research interests and a say in the future strategic development of the facility.

At the end of 2012, the initial arrangements for the provision of operating funding expired and a new arrangement, which will last until 2016, was negotiated under which New Zealand would continue to gain a guaranteed level of access. Ongoing operational funding is to be provided by Auckland, Massey, Waikato, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago universities, GNS Science and Callaghan Innovation and by the New Zealand Government with the New Zealand Synchrotron managing the access on behalf of the institutions providing funding.

The New Zealand Synchrotron Group Limited held its initial meeting in September 2006, chaired by Dr Garth Carnaby. The Royal Society of New Zealand provides secretariat services, administers the beamline time allocation process and funding for researchers to travel to Melbourne to use the synchrotron.

All enquiries in connection with the Australian Synchrotron should be directed to Dr Don Smith at the Royal Society (synchrotron@royalsociety.org.nz).