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Taskforce on Strengthening CRIs welcomed

For immediate release 29 October 2009

Crown Research Institute Taskforce on Strengthening CRIs welcomed

Science New Zealand chairman, John Morgan, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister of Research, Science & Technology of a Crown Research Institute Taskforce to examine the purpose, governance and funding of CRIs.

“The Taskforce is part of a wider Government review of ways and means to improve the science investment, so as to deliver even more benefit to New Zealand.

“Minister Mapp is to be congratulated on setting a very positive, constructive context for the discussion. The three pronged initiative is forward looking. It includes system simplification and clarification around national science priorities, the Strengthening CRIs Taskforce and improving technology transfer. It will ensure that New Zealand benefits from science that is excellent, relevant, and well linked to the economic and related challenges we face.

“The Crown Research Institutes are the heart of the nation’s science capability. We have two-thirds of the publicly-funded science researchers, outside of health and ICT areas. The Crown Research Institutes are the only entities specifically directed by statute to advance ideas and deliver results that benefit New Zealand.

“We have been doing that since 1992, building global reputations in that time.

“Each Crown Research Institute has changed considerably in that time, reflecting both the dynamics of our science and the sectors that we serve.

“Collaborations between CRIs, with universities and with other research organisations have grown tremendously in depth and breadth.

“Most importantly, so has the quality and quantity of engagement with businesses and other end users. No other government-owned research labs in the world have the level of private sector engagement that we have.

“Those improvements have occurred within the current settings. We are keen to deliver even more benefit to New Zealand from what are the nation’s powerhouses of science capability. It is ideal to consider how we can do this, within the Government’s wider review of the science system.”


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