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Supporting research partnerships

The government is supporting science partnerships with new funding for research consortia.

Funding of $25.2 million over four years, at $6.3 million a year, is being introduced to support research projects developed by science providers and users working cooperatively on a specific issue.

“The government is keen on developing partnerships - at international level, between the public and private sectors, and between government agencies - because collaboration can be just as important as competition for success in the knowledge economy,” said Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson. “Experience has shown that strong interaction and linkages between agencies and sectors are essential to an efficient innovation system. “

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology will seek proposals from firms and science providers for the consortium funding.

“Consortia will co-fund projects and decisions on the direction and focus of the research will be shared between industry and government,” Mr Hodgson said. “By getting companies, research organisations and government agencies working together on complex or large research projects, we will get more relevant research and more immediate application of the results.”

Any intellectual property generated by consortia will normally be jointly owned.

The Foundation has already begun encouraging consortia through its normal investment process. Current examples include:

- Meat industry bioactives research, including work on new 'functional foods' such as dietary iron supplements;

- Pastoral genomics, including work on developing new pasture varieties and new clover gene technology; and

- Wood quality research, including work on developing new wood products.

Funding for research consortia has been contributed from Industry and Regional Development funds. “Consortia will foster private sector R&D and help commercialise more research by integrating science with industry,” said Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton.


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