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Research Science & Innovation Strategy paper welcomed

Science New Zealand chief executive Anthony Scott says:

Science New Zealand, the association of Crown Research Institutes, welcomes the release of the Government’s consultation paper on a New Zealand Research, Science & Innovation Strategy. It is good to see the Government articulate its vision and encouraging a conversation which is ambitious and imaginative about the vital role science and innovation plays for New Zealand today and in shaping our future possibilities.

The Crown Research Institutes very much look forward to contributing to the conversation this paper encourages. They will bring their regional, national and global insights across science and sectors and their ambition for New Zealand.

Science research and its application underpins New Zealand’s wealth and wellbeing. It directly affects the quality of life and opportunities of every person, as well as collectively at national, regional and sectoral levels.

CRIs will be pleased that the paper adds a third pillar – connectivity – to the existing excellence and impact pillars. CRIs are required by their Act to benefit New Zealand, and to do so through excellent research and its application. That requires close engagement with existing and emerging sectors, and colleagues in New Zealand and globally. Businesses, for example, choose to invest 3 of every 4 dollars on external R&D with CRIs.

The draft strategy stresses the importance of research which extends the frontiers of knowledge and innovation, particularly in areas in which New Zealand can benefit. This aligns with the CRI mission.
It is also pleasing to see emphasis upon the value of generating new ideas, developing emerging ideas and leveraging proven ideas, and that this requires stable long-term funding as well as competitive and demand driven funding.

The emphasis upon people is very welcome. A larger cohort of people with R&D training and skills are key to the demand and uptake of research and innovation in all parts of the private and public sectors. They are as much needed in the management suites and boardrooms as in the R&D activity itself. New Zealand’s R&D ambitions will only be achieved if we expand the talent pool, and that requires us to inspire and support talent right across the spectrum from the emerging to the established.

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