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$470m for first three National Science Challenges

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister of Science & Innovation

4 October 2013       Media Statement       

$470m for first three National Science Challenges

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced that up to $470.3 million over 10 years in funding will be available for the first tranche of New Zealand’s 10 National Science Challenges.

Announced in May this year, the Challenges will take a strategic approach to some of the key science issues facing New Zealand. Three challenges have been selected in the first tranche. They are:

•          High Value Nutrition (up to $180.8 million over 10 years) – focusing on foods that deliver health benefits and contribute to economic growth
•          Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (up to $201.4 million over 10 years) – strengthening New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards
•          The Deep South (up to $88.1 million over 10 years) - understand how the Antarctic and Southern Ocean affect our climate and environment.

“These challenges were selected because they cover diverse fields of science, each involving cross disciplinary work with researchers from different organisations,” Mr Joyce says.

“This collaborative approach is the real strength of the Challenge concept – bringing together the best Kiwi scientists to do the best research for New Zealand.”

Each Challenge includes both new funding and funds that will become available as current MBIE research contracts directly linked to each Challenge mature. Relevant CRI core funding will also be invested in Challenges, where CRIs are part of a Challenge collaboration.

The new Challenge funding comprises $73.5 million appropriated over four years in Budget 2013, plus the $60 million allocated over four years in Budget 2012, and $30.5 million per year thereafter.   

“The Government makes an annual investment of $1.3 billion in science and innovation. Aligning and focusing some of that research and funding through the National Science Challenges will ensure we get better value from this investment,” Mr Joyce says.

A Gazette notice and Request for Proposals (RfP) for the first three Challenges has been issued today. Proposals will be assessed by an independent assessment panel, and decisions on Challenge proposals and the allocation of funding will be made by the Science Board. 

The RfP for the first tranche closes on 20 December 2013.  The RfP for the remaining seven Challenges will be issued in February 2014.

The Cabinet paper, Implementing the National Science Challenges, can be found at:
www.msi.govt.nz/update-me/major-projects/national-science-challenges/key-documents/

ENDS

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