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Overhaul R&D Funding for CRIs and Universities

Overhaul R&D Funding for CRIs and Universities says IPENZ

Currently the government funds R&D in Crown Research Institutes and universities by a similar model. However, a review published by the Institution of Professional Engineers, New Zealand (IPENZ) believes this funding mechanism needs to be overhauled.

The publication entitled: “A Review of National Policies for Fostering Research, Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in New Zealand”, asserts that better outcomes for innovation in industry may be achieved by improved differentiation of funding mechanisms.

“The contestable model on a project or programme basis is reasonably effective for funding University research. However, CRIs and Research Associations could be improved as delivery mechanisms, by substantially increasing devolution - lump-sum funding, application of outcomes-based performance criteria and contestability of the level of lump-sum funding according to performance,” said Dr Cleland

“A CRI would then only be really successful if it is contributing rational benefits and therefore will be forced to create strategic partnerships with its relevant industry sector to undertake research informed by the market opportunities for the sector.

“The researchers need to learn of the market issues, and help the companies resolve them. The problem of low research receptiveness in industry, would be solved as CRIs transfer staff to the industry. In effect there would be many and varied types of R&D consortia,” said Dr Cleland.

Dr Cleland will present this review at a breakfast meeting to the Wellington business community. (Wednesday, 2 June 2004).

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