AgResearch sells software unit to staff

Five developers set up their own company

Five software developers at New Zealand’s largest Crown Research Institute, AgResearch, have bought the institute’s commercial software development division and will operate as a new company, Rezare.

The company, which will be based at the Waikato Innovation Park at Ruakura, will be a separate entity to AgResearch with no financial connection, although the two will continue to work closely together.

Rezare managing director Andrew Cooke says the five had been involved in AgResearch’s commercial software development for many years and has reached the stage where they wanted some ownership.

“We also saw the opportunity to extend into related markets which were not core business for AgResearch,” he says.

Rezare will develop planning and decision-making tools, many of which deal with the complexities inherent in biological systems. “The real challenge is turning these into solutions for people for whom computers are not an everyday tool, and who may work at different organisational levels,” Cooke says.

The institute retains its internal IT support team of 30, plus some software development capability.

Cooke says Rezare will purchase its own hardware from Dell, and has bought Borland’s application lifecycle management solution. “We’ve bought Caliber RM, the requirements management tool. It’s the only one in the market that integrates right through to the deliverables,” he says.

AgResearch itself has just invested in Navision financials.

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