The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Wool Industry Research Ltd (WIRL) have come together to form a $21million partnership aimed at improving the wool industry in New Zealand.

The focus for the $21million research investment is to investigate new ways to use wool as a source of high-value keratin. It will also work with traditional manufacturing industries to develop new technical textiles.

“This partnership is recognition by MBIE of further potential in the high value, new use areas that we, at WIRL, have already developed in previous research investments, such as the ground breaking research into using wool based protein sources," said Graham Brown, board chairman, WIRL.

The programme is set to span over the course of seven years, at a cost of $3million per year. 60 percent of the funding will come from the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand, which owns Wool Industry Research Ltd, with the remaining 40 percent coming from MBIE.