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Centres of Research Excellence Fund

PRESS RELEASE

6 August 2001 Immediate Release

Centres of Research Excellence Fund

An accelerated stream of funding to foster excellent research to contribute to New Zealand's future development and encourage high quality research training environments was closer to being realised, the Ministry of Education announced today.

The Ministry has selected the Royal Society of New Zealand as the purchase agent for managing a new contestable Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE) Fund.

This fund was a Budget 2001 initiative, and has been developed based on advice provided by the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission. It will build and support the innovation and knowledge development envisaged in recent discussions including the "Catching the Knowledge Wave" Conference.

"This fund will encourage a greater concentration of higher quality, specialised research resources in the tertiary education sector," said Howard Fancy, Secretary for Education.

The operating value of the fund is $40.6 million over the next four years. There is also a $20 million capital contingency fund available for the Centres of Research Excellence to purchase strategic research assets.

The Royal Society will be responsible for developing a selection framework for the centres, the selection and funding of the centres, and for their ongoing monitoring.

The selection criteria will focus on the demonstration of research excellence, contribution of the Centre's research plan to New Zealand's development, research training and collaborative activities.

The further development of the selection framework will be done in consultation with the tertiary education institutions, the research community, the transition Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

As part of the development the Royal Society will be consulting widely and this will include a workshop in Wellington on 30/31 August to discuss the selection criteria.

The final selection criteria and application process will be announced in early October. In the meantime, a list of indicative characteristics outlined in the terms of reference for the fund, published on the Ministry of Education website, provides a basis for tertiary education institutions to consider and prepare for the application process.

END

Enquiries: Sally Munro - Project Manager, Tertiary Education Policy, Ministry of Education. Phone: 04 463 8710 or 025 519 734. email sally.munro@minedu.govt.nz

Steve Thompson - Chief Executive, The Royal Society of New Zealand Phone: 04 472 7421 or 021 512 055. email thompson.s@rsnz.govt.nz

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