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Government funds research to help transition to low emission

Hon Megan Woods

Minister of Research, Science and Innovation MEDIA STATEMENT

17 September 2019

Government funds research to help transition to low emission economy, grow R&D, tackle social issues

The Government is investing $241 million in leading research projects that will help find new ways to address long-term issues like increasing our sources of renewable energy, growing knowledge-intensive industries, and tackling New Zealand’s social issues says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.

The Endeavour Fund uses an open, contestable process to select excellent research proposals that will provide the highest potential impacts across a range of economic, environmental and societal objectives. This year, 71 projects were awarded funding through the fund which is New Zealand’s largest contestable research fund.

“The Government is funding important research to tackle the big issues, and improve living standards and wellbeing through productive, inclusive and sustainable economic development. The fund does this by backing research that is aimed at growing R&D intensive industries, transitioning to a low emissions economy and supporting the well-being of our people and communities.

“This year we will see $37 million will go to projects to help our transition to a low emissions and climate resilient economy, through the development of new energy opportunities and new materials. Projects like the GNS Science led ‘Geothermal: The next generation’ will look for new ways to extract geothermal energy at greater depths.

“$91 million is being invested in projects that help to create and grow knowledge-intensive industries, including the Plant & Food Research-led ‘Re-imagining aquaculture’, which will develop low-impact offshore technologies to transform finfish production in New Zealand.

“We’ve also funded a wide range of social research so that we can find ways to reduce child poverty, and prison violence, and improved child protection services. Performing research in these areas is crucial to turning the tide on the negative statistics we face on these issues.

“The quality of the projects funded this year demonstrates New Zealand’s growing strength in applying leading edge science to help improve the lives of New Zealanders,” Megan Woods said.

Notes to the editor:
• The full list of successful projects is available here:
• See MBIE’s website for more details:
• The Endeavour Fund provides up to $58 million per year of new investment to fund projects that have a high potential to benefit New Zealand or transform New Zealand’s future in areas of future value, growth or critical need. Projects are funded across a number of years. With about $240-$250 million per year of total funding.
• Since 2016, the Endeavour Fund has invested over $948 million to support research and science in New Zealand.

Projects aimed at addressing long term social problems:
• Whakapapakainga: Low Carbon and High Cultural Connectedness Futures for Community Cross-generational Benefit (University of Otago) - $3,624,008 (50% Societal/50% CO2)
• Marae Ora, Kāinga Ora: Marae-led housing interventions that develop kāinga. (Unitec Institute of Technology) - $3,527,403
• The expression, experience and transcendence of low-skill in Aotearoa New Zealand (Auckland University of Technology) - $4,350,807
• Halving rural and Māori community wastewater treatment costs: Mainstreaming novel ecocultural technologies (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd) - $10,000,000
• Our generation, our voices, all our futures (University of Auckland) - $5,216,585
• Informatics for Social Services and Wellbeing Data New Zealand (The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington) - $2,658,600
• Turning the tide on prison violence (University of Waikato) - $3,916,045
• Making New Zealand homes quieter, a sound investment (University of Auckland) - $991,095
• Measuring income inequality, poverty and mobility in New Zealand (The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington) - $999,459
• Realising Children and Young People's Participatory Rights in Child Protection Services (University of Auckland) - $982,854

Projects aimed at moving New Zealand to low emissions economy:
• Whakapapakainga: Low Carbon and High Cultural Connectedness Futures for Community Cross-generational Benefit (University of Otago) - $3,624,008 (50% Societal/50% CO2)
• Zero-CO2 production of essential technological metals (The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington) - $6,494,327
• Geothermal: The next generation (GNS Science) - $10,689,200
• Rapidly evolving climate-smart dairy cattle (AgResearch Limited) - $10,000,000
• Integrated biomass gasification with chemical looping and oxygen uncoupling for H2 production and CO2 capture (University of Canterbury) - $999,999
• Nano-catalytic surfaces for efficient, stable fuel cells and eco-friendly hydrogen production (GNS Science) - $999,987
• A living “factory” for the production of high-value terpenes (Scion) - $999,999
• Non-toxic hybrid nanomaterials for luminescent solar concentrators (The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington) - $999,999
• Harnessing photoheterotrophic metabolism to convert methane into biopolymers (Scion) - $999,999
• Testing a post-normal approach to consensual technological evaluation and adoption (University of Auckland) - $978,782

Projects aimed at growing knowledge intensive industries.
• 3-D printed porous media for process engineering (University of Canterbury) - $9,812,550
• New Frontiers in Antiviral Development (University of Otago) - $13,525,451
• Precision Antimicrobials: Targeted Therapeutics for Food and Companion Animal Infections (University of Otago) - $8,709,022
• Advanced, novel biopotential sensor platform for New Zealand health-tech companies (Auckland University of Technology) - $7,946,676
• Zero-CO2 production of essential technological metals (The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington) - $6,494,327
• Re-imagining aquaculture: inventing low-impact, offshore mobile technology that transforms finfish production (The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited) - $18,750,000
• Geothermal: The next generation (GNS Science) - $10,689,200
• Rapidly evolving climate-smart dairy cattle (AgResearch Limited) - $10,000,000
• Beyond the genome: Exploiting methylomes to accelerate adaptation to a changing environment (AgResearch Limited) - $5,412,915


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