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Otago success in inaugural funding round

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Otago success in inaugural funding round

The University of Otago is delighted by its success in the inaugural round of the Encouraging and Supporting Innovation Fund, with at least six proposals involving Otago to receive funding.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg says the successes – across diverse academic areas – are excellent news for the University, individual researchers and New Zealand’s future.

He says the recently-launched Centre for Sustainable Cities – led by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman at the University of Otago Wellington – has already made an impact and its work is resulting in valuable outcomes, including healthier homes for New Zealanders.

“The Government recognises the outstanding work of this Centre and has granted $1.9m so it can draw together expertise from the six universities and two Crown Research Institutes involved. The Centre’s goal is to develop well-being and health through appropriate economic development and more sustainable infrastructures. It will also work with and support those already focused on urban sustainability, including local authorities.

“I am also very pleased to see the National Centre for the Study of the Islamic World – a joint venture with Victoria University – receive one year of funding for its establishment. There is a need for greater knowledge and understanding of the Islamic world, particularly in a New Zealand context. Otago is well placed to develop leadership in this area."

The National Energy Research Institute (NERI), based in Dunedin and including 12 partners, was established nine months ago and its importance has been confirmed by the continuation of funding. The Institute’s purpose is to act as a conduit involving education, research and industry to meet national goals and improve capability in energy research.

Otago is also one of three partners in the University of Canterbury-led project – Partnering for Innovation in Technology-based Business – which received $3m in the funding round. The University of Otago is also part of the Engaging with China proposal led by Victoria University and the Seafood Sector proposal, with the University of Canterbury.

“It is noteworthy that the successful bids are collaborative with other institutions and encourage linkages between key players in the relevant fields. The quality and relevance of research at Otago has clearly been recognised,” Professor Skegg says.


Funding successes:

Centre for Sustainable Cities: Collaboration with six universities, two Crown Research Institutes and the building industry to achieve healthier and safer home design and healthy urban design more generally.

$1.9m (University of Otago led)

National Energy Research Institute (NERI): Further development of this institute, which was established with TEC seed funding last year, to address fundamental questions about New Zealand's future energy supplies, and to produce skilled graduates for the energy sector.

$724,000 (University of Otago led)

National Centre for the Study of the Islamic World: The establishment, in conjunction with Victoria University, of a national centre to expand and deepen New Zealand’s knowledge and understanding of the culture, languages and geo-political concerns of the Islamic world.

$364,871 (jointly led by University of Otago and Victoria University)

Partnering for Innovation in Technology-based Business.

$3m (University of Canterbury-led, with University of Otago and Lincoln University as partners)

Engaging with China.

$325,000 (Victoria University-led with Universities of Otago, Auckland and Canterbury as partners)

Increasing postgraduate study and research relevant to the seafood sector.

$200,000 (University of Canterbury and University of Otago)


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