Bingley-based STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute) is establishing an Australian turfgrass research centre and headquarters at the Redlands Research Station in Cleveland, Queensland.
The STRI research centre will provide a valuable resource to the industry for the latest information on sports surface management concepts and technologies.
STRI will conduct research into individual cultivar characteristics, turf performance, the efficacy of turfgrass products and the development of new and innovative technologies for the Australian market. This centre will also be the headquarters for STRI’s consultancy services for the design and maintenance of all turfgrass sports surfaces.
This expansion for STRI supports their work on current and future international consultancy projects, including the design and development of the stadia and training pitches for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil and their management of sports surfaces projects in Australia, Middle East and Asia.
STRI was established in the UK in 1929 to provide research and advisory services for golf clubs on their golf greens and courses.
By the 1950s, STRI had established a reputation as the leading company for providing advice and research on new products and techniques for managing sports turf for all types of sports surfaces and amenity grass areas.
The last two decades have seen rapid growth within STRI, currently with 75 staff, delivering a range of research and consultancy services across an international client base of around 2,100 sports clubs and facilities each year.
Gordon McKillop, CEO at STRI, said:
“This new venture in Australia represents our commitment to the turfgrass industry to help improve the global knowledge of sports turf management within a rapidly moving industry.
“We are replicating the successful research and consultancy format we have established in the UK to further cement our position as leaders in the field.”
The new Australian office and research facility will be headed up by Managing Director, Mark Godfrey.
“STRI has had tremendous success over the last five years and we are delighted to be in a position to invest in this development in Australia.
“The STRI facility at the Redlands Research Station will help us research ways to improve the development and management of turf, as well as providing an opportunity for us to develop cutting-edge technologies.
“This new venture is vital to provide a consistent and focused approach for STRI’s research and consultancy services for our clients across the globe.”
The organisation continues to provide specialist advice and expertise to sports facilities and local councils to support them in producing and managing quality and durable sports surfaces.
An addition to the STRI team is Keith McAuliffe, who has 28 years’ experience working within the sports turf industry across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Mr McAuliffe, head of consultancy services at STRI, Australia, said:
“The world-class facilities at Redlands Research Station will allow STRI to develop credible turf research in Australia and share our knowledge of assessing and managing sports turf.
“This will help clients develop cost effective, great quality surfaces and facilities that participants and players can enjoy for the long-term.
“This is an exciting time for the sports turf industry and I am delighted to be part of the progressive STRI team in Australia.”
The STRI research facility and offices will be fully operational by September 2013.