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Foundation funds $50 million of Auckland research

Foundation funds $50 million of Auckland research

The University of Auckland has received $50 million to fund research in the latest round of government funding.

The Foundation for Research Science and Technology is funding nine University of Auckland projects. The $50 million is a significant increase on the 2007 funding round when the University received just under $30 million to fund research of benefit to New Zealand.

Eight projects received $30 million in contestable funding, representing more than a third of the $83 million allocated to the universities in the contestable pools, while one programme has been successfully negotiated under the new Stable Funding Environment initiative for long term funding.

University of Auckland projects funded include research into suppressing diabetes, prognostic testing of colon cancer, improving cow fertility, and creating a new generation of hybrid plastics.

Other projects are powering implantable devices, fast tracking drug discovery and development, harvesting placental cells during pregnancy (to improve detection of potential infant genetic defects such as Down’s Syndrome), nutritional epigenomics (how nutrition in the womb affects development later in life) and an investigation into the mineral wealth of the North Island.

“This reflects the University’s excellent research capability in a range of high economic-value areas from materials and medical sciences to primary industry,” says Dr John Smart, the University’s Director of Research Management. "I congratulate our researchers who have gained grants in the face of strong competition. This again underlines our status as New Zealand’s leading research university."

The Foundation administers research funding for the New Zealand government. In the latest funding round it has allocated $785 million to projects undertaken by more than 24 organisations including Crown Research Institutes, universities and other research bodies. The universities gained around 20 percent of contestable funding.

Project title Principal Investigator
Powering implantable devices Dr Patrick Hu
Colon cancer prognostic tests Associate Professor Cris Print
Fast tracking drugs Associate Professor Phil Crosier
Harvesting trophoblasts Associate Professor Lawrence Chamley
Suppressing diabetes Professor Garth Cooper
Hybrid plastics Professor Ralph Cooney
Nutritional Epigenomics Dr Allan Sheppard
Mineral wealth of the North Island Dr Jefferey Mauk
Improving cow fertility Professor Murray Mitchell.


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