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Universities Positive On High-Level Rs&T Direction

Media Release 23 October 2009

Universities Positive On High-Level Rs&T Strategic Direction

Universities have welcomed the opportunity to influence the Government’s priorities for research, science and technology by responding to the just-released feedback document.

New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee chair Professor Roger Field says as the representative body for the countries’ universities, the NZVCC is pleased to be able to influence the Government’s strategic direction for science funding.

“The Committee supports the Government’s intention to take steps to strengthen research and science’s contribution to improving New Zealand’s economic performance, creating a stronger society and providing higher levels of environmental protection.

“In particular, the confirmation that Government has identified research and science as key to achieving its economic goals is extremely positive. It supports New Zealand universities’ commitment to using research-led innovation .

“Universities also welcome the Government’s desire to see closer relationships between universities and business. Recent successes in the commercialisation of university research are testament to the value of such relationships.

“The NZVCC has consistently advocated that the best science should attract priority funding and it is good to see the feedback document proposes a science system based on excellence and impact. The emphasis on an RS&T investment system that is both flexible and responsive is well placed. There are numerous instances where research has produced unexpected outcomes and breakthroughs and it is vital that the investment system is able to seize on these opportunities.”

Professor Field says the Government’s recognition of the importance of investing in top talent by supporting postgraduate and doctoral students, as well as high-achieving research scientists, contributed to the strong sense of direction in the feedback document.

“That positive direction also extends to the document’s identification of the need for public investment in the provision of national RS&T infrastructure.”

The NZVCC and universities would be studying the Government’s proposals in the consultation document carefully so they could provide advice on how best to achieve more from the New Zealand research and science effort.


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