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Centres Of Excellence Research Fund Well Supported

Forty-five applications have been received for a share of the Government’s new $60m fund to build Centres of Research Excellence in the tertiary education sector, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The CoRE Fund was established in the Budget to establish specialist centres of research excellence which will operate at the leading edge of their field within the international research community. Operating expenditure of $40.6 million over four years, and one-off capital funding of $20m for investment in strategic research assets this financial year, has been allocated for the Fund which is being managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Steve Maharey said there has been considerable interest in the CoRE Fund and he was particularly pleased that so many applications were partnerships between several institutions and Crown Research Institutes (CRIs).

“The CoRE Fund is designed to encourage greater concentration and networking of high quality specialised research resources in the tertiary sector.

“Applications for the Fund have been received from seven universities, three polytechnics and one wananga. Further details of these applications will be posted on the website (www.rsnz.govt.nz/funding/core) tomorrow. The fields of research range from neuroscience to biodiversity and access to effective education.

“Most applications are formal partnerships between Universities, as well as with seven CRIs. Four applicants also have overseas partners and all include wide collaborative networks of researchers, both national and international. There is a significant Maori participation, with four of the proposals addressing Maori issues in education and social policy.

“In the space between initial registrations of interest and final submission, eight contenders collaborated to form four larger partnerships. This is particularly welcome given the Government’s policy of encouraging greater cooperation and collaboration across the tertiary sector.

“It is expected that between three and six Centres will be selected by a selection panel to be established by the Royal Society. The successful candidates will be announced in early March,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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