$25m funding for Regional Research Institutes

  • Steven Joyce
Science and Innovation Budget 2015

Budget 2015 allows for up to $25 million over three years to support the establishment of new privately led Regional Research Institutes, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says.

The Government will work with regional stakeholders to identify where the best opportunities are to develop new institutes, and has allocated funding from 2016/17 to support best case proposals.

“The proposed new research institutes would support innovation in regional areas outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by maximising the unique business, technology, and economic growth opportunities in a region.

“They would be funded from a mixture of public and private sources and modelled along the lines of Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, which is a specialist not-for-profit institute for aquaculture, marine biosecurity, and coastal and freshwater ecology. We envisage funding the launch of between one and three new institutes over the next four to five years depending on demand.

“Our regional economies have different resources and strengths. Regional Research Institutes would focus on scientific research relevant to a particular region, with a strong emphasis on the effective transfer of research into new technologies, new firms, and new products and services.

“This will in turn help to support regional development, create new jobs and lift incomes,” Mr Joyce says.

Other new science and innovation initiatives in Budget 2015 include:

  • An $80 million operating boost over four years to R&D growth grants administered by Callaghan Innovation – announced in April, this will support innovative Kiwi businesses carrying out research and development by contributing 20 per cent of their R&D programme costs.
  • The science and innovation system performance report and data collection programme – the first in a series of annual reports on the performance of New Zealand’s science and innovation system which will be published later this year. Funding of around $3 million over four years will be met by reprioritisation within the science and innovation portfolio.
  • An international investment attraction programme – a new $1 million programme to attract multinational companies to undertake R&D in New Zealand will start in 2015/16, funded by reprioritisation within the science and innovation portfolio.
  • Science in Society – lifting New Zealanders’ engagement with science and technology is the key focus of the national strategic plan for Science in Society: A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara. An additional $2.2 million in 2015/16 will support the plan’s implementation, funded by reprioritisation within the science and innovation portfolio.

“The additional funding announced in Budget 2015 will bring the Government’s total investment in science to more than $1.5 billion in 2015/16,” Mr Joyce says.

“Since 2007/08 this Government has invested more in science and innovation each year to help achieve stronger economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes for all of New Zealand.”