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Increases in science research welcome

Science New Zealand

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   22 May 2008



Increases in science research welcome

Commenting on the 2008 Budget, Anthony Scott, chief executive of Science New Zealand said:

“Increases in areas which support long term research into specifically New Zealand needs - particularly the backbone databases and collections, and long term programmes - are very much welcomed.  These have been under significant pressure from rising costs for many years. 

“Increases in environmental research, biosecurity, energy, and assisting commercialisation and links with industry are also very welcome. 

“These represent areas of considerable opportunity for New Zealand, building on excellent research and existing links.  

“Areas such as biosecurity also protect the bulk of the national economy.   

“The overall increase includes the pre-announced Fast Forward endowment fund for the pastoral and food sectors.  At $700 million over four years, plus interest and private sector matching funds, that is the largest ever investment into New Zealand’s wider R&D.  

“The government’s total spend on RS&T flows through various Votes.  In Vote Education, tertiary institutes get a further boost in research monies, as it targets a Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) of $250 million per annum from 2011. 

“It is disappointing to see the Capability Fund for Crown Research Institutes frozen at $51 million.  This will hinder or prevent work on areas which Crown Research Institutes have identified from their insight, knowledge and global connections as being of potential importance to New Zealand’s future, and in which we need to build capability now.”



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