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Supporting world-class research

5 June 2007

Supporting world-class research

Seven Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) will receive new funding to produce world-class research that will help accelerate New Zealand’s economic transformation, Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

Dr Cullen released the latest round of CoREs funding, which includes the reselection of six existing centres and the establishment of a new one.

"The Labour-led government has invested $123.5 million in the CoREs fund since it was established six years ago to encourage the development of excellent research which draws on the skills of our best scientists and researchers across the economy.

"The results that have already been achieved show that it is a model that is well worth that investment," Dr Cullen said today. "CoREs are not only a breeding ground for the research needed to drive a more dynamic economy, they also help to nurture and retain our best scientists and researchers.

"For example, the Centre for Growth and Development's research has huge potential for addressing our understanding of public health problems like diabetes and obesity. The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is doing outstanding research training of future physical scientists who are acquiring excellent research, entrepreneurial and communications skills.

"They are showing what can be achieved when researchers from across the sector work together and I congratulate the directors of those two CoREs Professors Peter Gluckman and Paul Callaghan.

"I am confident that the new CoRE hosted by Massey University will be a valuable addition to the CoREs network. The Riddet Centre - advancing knowledge in foods and biologicals, is looking at how future foods can aid health, wellness, convenience and pleasure.

"The food and beverage industry accounts for about half of our export earnings so it is great to see a new CoRE that focuses research on this cornerstone of New Zealand economy. It will foster the development of food that is manufactured in an environmentally friendly way and keeps the natural nutrients that are often removed during processing.”

Dr Cullen said the CoREs would receive about $31.4 million of operating funds per annum for six years and one-off capital funding of $20 million.

"It’s important to acknowledge that each CoRE has a number of partners from across the research sector, including other universities, wananga, Crown Research Institutes and other research organisations."

"The work of the CoREs builds on the Labour-led government's commitment to supporting research across the public and private sector.

"A smart, dynamic economy needs world-class research to raise productivity and ensure we produce more of the kinds of products able to command a premium in overseas markets.

"Budget 2007 provides additional funding of $74 million over four years for research that helps meet our economic, social and environmental challenges,

"Private sector research is also being encouraged with a 15 per cent tax credit for research and development amounting to $630 million over four years.

"Fostering research is essential if we are accelerate the transformation of New Zealand into a high wage, knowledge-based economy. Today's announcement further underlines the Labour-led government's commitment to lifting our sustainable rate of economic growth," said Dr Cullen.

ENDS

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