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$804m for seven National Science Challenges

$804m for seven National Science Challenges

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced funding of up to $804 million over ten years for the second tranche of New Zealand’s National Science Challenges.

The ten National Science Challenges were announced in May, and funding for the first three Challenges was released in October.

The remaining seven Challenges and their funding levels are:

• Ageing Well (Kia eke kairangi ki te taikaumātuatanga) – harnessing science to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life (up to $34.9 million over 10 years)
• A Better Start (E Tipu e Rea) – improving the potential of young New Zealanders to have a healthy and successful life ($34.6 million over 10 years)
• Healthier Lives (He Oranga Hauora) – research to reduce the burden of major New Zealand health problems ($36.7 million over 10 years)
• Science for Technological Innovation (Kia kotahi mai – Te Ao Pūtaiao me Te Ao Hangarau) – enhancing the capacity of New Zealand to use physical and engineering sciences for economic growth ($116.5 million over 10 years)
• New Zealand’s Biological Heritage (Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho) – protecting and managing our biodiversity, improving our biosecurity, and enhancing our resilience to harmful organisms ($207.1 million over 10 years)
• Our Land and Water (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) – research to enhance primary sector production and productivity while maintaining our land and water quality for future generations ($227.3 million over 10 years)
• Sustainable Seas (Te Tini a Tangaroa me Ngā Moana Whakaumu) – understanding how we can utilise our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints ($146.5 million over 10 years).

“The ten Challenges focus New Zealand’s research effort on the big science issues facing the country,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Challenges each involve cross disciplinary work with researchers from different organisations. 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 mature. Relevant CRI core funding will also be invested in Challenges, where CRIs are part of a Challenge collaboration.

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

The Request for Proposals (RfP) for the second tranche of Challenges will be issued on 31 January 2014, with proposals due by the end of April. 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.


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