Otago Daily Times

Dunedin firm ‘de­lighted’ to se­cure sup­port from fund

- SALLY RAE Business · Food Industry · Oceania News · Industries · Dunedin · New Zealand · University of Otago · Agriculture · Otago

DUNEDIN vet­eri­nary di­ag­nos­tics com­pany Masta­plex is one of the first two re­cip­i­ents of LIC’s AgCel­er­a­tor Fund.

The fund — launched in Au­gust — was for in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties grow­ing and scal­ing in­no­va­tions value to the dairy in­dus­try. The in­vest­ment amount was not yet public.

Masta­plex de­vel­oped a pro­pri­etary mas­ti­tis test­ing de­vice Mas­tat­est which provided faster and more pre­cise mas­ti­tis di­ag­no­sis on farm.

A cloud­based IT so­lu­tion, Masta­plex is able to ad­vise a farmer which cow has which bug within 24 hours, help­ing de­crease an­tibi­otic use.

Mas­ti­tis, which is an in­flam­ma­tion of the ud­der, was a costly fi­nan­cial bur­den to the dairy in­dus­try, both in New Zealand and glob­ally. It was pre­dom­i­nantly treated us­ing an­tibi­otics.

Masta­plex was founded by Olaf Bork and is based at the Univer­sity of Otago’s Cen­tre for In­no­va­tion.

In a state­ment, Dr Bork said he was ex­cited to have the sup­port of LIC, as mas­ti­tis cost the New Zealand dairy in­dus­try $180 mil­lion an­nu­ally and was one of the big­gest is­sues on farm.

‘‘Our prod­uct, Mas­tat­est, guides an­tibi­otic treat­ment de­ci­sions for mas­ti­tis and sup­ports disease man­age­ment, im­proves milk qual­ity and com­bats against an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance.

‘‘We are de­lighted that our im­pact gets recog­nised by key dairy play­ers in New Zealand,’’ he said.

Auck­land­based Track­Back, which uses blockchain tech­nol­ogy in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor to pro­vide trust and trans­parency through the sup­ply chain for global con­fi­dence in qual­ity, in­tegrity and prove­nance, was the other re­cip­i­ent.

The fund re­mained open to other ap­pli­ca­tions.

 ?? PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY ?? Weighty is­sue . . . Mas­ti­tis is es­ti­mated to cost the New Zealand dairy in­dus­try about $180 mil­lion each year.
PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY Weighty is­sue . . . Mas­ti­tis is es­ti­mated to cost the New Zealand dairy in­dus­try about $180 mil­lion each year.

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