$96.5 million for new science research programmes

  • Steven Joyce
Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has today announced funding for 48 new science research programmes, for a total investment of $96.5 million over the next four years.

The funding has been allocated through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) 2015 science investment round.

Mr Joyce says the new programmes reflect the high quality of research across the country, which helps boost New Zealand’s productivity and competitiveness.

“Research-led science is a key driver of economic growth. The Government’s science investment aims to produce excellent science that has the greatest capacity to benefit New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.

The successful research proposals cover many diverse areas, including medical implants, insecticides, 3D printing, dairy goat infant formula, dental diagnostics, sensors, self-cleaning ceramic coatings, waterproof roads, family violence prevention and aquifer management.

Of the funding, $49.8 million over the next four years has been awarded to research in the environmental and biological fields. There is also $46.6 million for areas of high-value manufacturing, energy and minerals, hazards and infrastructure, and health and society.

$17.5 million of the funding has been invested in idea-driven research through the ‘Smart Ideas’ investment mechanism, and $79 million in purpose-driven research through the ‘Targeted Research’ investment mechanism.

Smart Ideas supports research into new and promising ideas and has two phases. The first phase allows researchers to develop an innovative idea, while the second is aimed at commercialising the work.

Targeted Research funds projects that benefit New Zealand within six broad areas: biological industries, energy and minerals, environment, hazards and infrastructure, health and society, and high-value manufacturing and services.

“The National Statement of Science Investment, which will set the strategic direction for government investment in New Zealand’s science system for the next ten years, will be published shortly, Mr Joyce says

“Changes to further simplify and streamline the annual MBIE science investment process will also be announced for the 2016 round.”

Through the submission process, 157 full proposals were received. The successful proposals were selected by the Science Board, an independent statutory Board, following robust review by independent experts. The new research contracts will commence on 1 October 2015, for periods of two, three and four years.

For more information on the successful research programmes can be found HERE.