On behalf of the Government, the Science + Innovation (SI) Group invests a significant proportion of public funding for research in New Zealand’s research organisations through annual contestable funding. On top of this, Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) receive $215 million of core funding—this is a fixed amount for CRIs to undertake research.
There are six areas where contestable funding is available to research organisations:
- Biological industries: Research to support productivity growth and sustainability in primary industries, and the development of premium food and industrial biological products and technologies that meet global demand.
- Energy and minerals: Research to improve mineral extraction and energy security, and on efficient and affordable energy use.
- Environment: Research to underpin the management, protection and improvement of ecosystems, land and freshwater resources, climate and atmosphere – both in New Zealand and Antarctica.
- Hazards and infrastructure: Research to support hazard management and improve building and infrastructure durability.
- Health and society: Research to improve health and social well-being.
- High value manufacturing and services: Research to develop new technologies, materials, products, processes and services for the manufacturing and technology sectors.
In 2013, the Science + Innovation Group is running contestable funding rounds for five of these areas. No investment process will be held for the Hazards and Infrastructure Research Funds as no funds are maturing for investment.
CRI core funding
Each CRI is provided with core funding to deliver outcomes for the benefit of New Zealand.
Core funding gives CRIs greater financial certainty and comprises a significant proportion of total funding available to CRIs.
Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund (PSAF)
This fund provides publicly funded research organisations with funding they can allocate to early stage commercialisation of ideas. PSAF funding is intended to stimulate and attract investor interest to publicly funded research and development.
Additional funding priorities
Science + Innovation Group also invests in research through other funds and processes. These include:
- Carbon Capture and Storage Investment Round: This request for proposals invites research organisations to submit proposals for research on priority topics in the area of carbon capture and storage (CCS) through an open contestable process.
- Fellowships for Excellence: To provide a supply of researchers who excel by encouraging the career development of talented early and mid-career researchers. This encompasses the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand
- The Marsden Fund: For excellent basic research initiated by researchers. The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand
- Research infrastructure: To improve the quality of science infrastructure and access to it.
- International science relationships: Strong international partnerships and other links.
- Vision Matauranga Capability Fund: Developing and supporting skilled researchers and organisations doing research relevant to Maori innovation and communities.
- Envirolink: Funding for regional councils to seek advice from Crown Research Institutes, universities and private research organisations on environmental projects
- Funding for research partnerships: Funding that addresses industry development bottlenecks that affect a range of companies and industries. We aim to encourage proposals that are industry-led and that have the broad objective of transforming sectors where there is no existing consortium.