Pro­pos­als sought for MBIE Science Fund

NZ Business - - INBOX -

Re­search pro­pos­als have opened for the re­designed Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment (MBIE) Con­testable Re­search Fund.

Science and In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Steven Joyce says the Na­tional State­ment of Science In­vest­ment (NSSI), re­leased last month, an­nounced that the con­testable fund will be re­designed to be a sin­gle, more flex­i­ble fund that can re­spond to emerg­ing re­search op­por­tu­ni­ties and pri­or­i­ties.

“The pre­vi­ous six sec­tor-based funds have been re­placed with one fund that will be man­aged as an in­vest­ment port­fo­lio across so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic ob­jec­tives. About $35 mil­lion a year is avail­able for in­vest­ment in ex­cel­lent mis­sion-led re­search that has the po­ten­tial for long-term im­pact for New Zealand, in line with the strate­gic di­rec­tion set out in the NSSI.”

The changes to the con­testable fund re­flect the need to tar­get New Zealand’s grow­ing science in­vest­ment more ef­fec­tively, and in­cor­po­rate feed­back from the science sec­tor. Fund­ing will be of­fered through two in­vest­ment mech­a­nisms: • Re­search Pro­grammes – This in­vest­ment mech­a­nism will fo­cus on catalysing and test­ing in­no­va­tive re­search ideas. It is in­tended to sup­port am­bi­tious, ex­cel­lent and well- de­fined re­search ideas which, col­lec­tively, have cred­i­ble po­ten­tial to de­liver long-term im­pact for New Zealand in ar­eas of fu­ture value, strength or crit­i­cal need. Smart Ideas – This in­vest­ment mech­a­nism is in­tended to catal­yse and rapidly test promis­ing, in­no­va­tive re­search ideas. It will sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of ex­cel­lent, am­bi­tious re­search with the ca­pac­ity to de­liver sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits for New Zealand in ar­eas of fu­ture value, strength or crit­i­cal need. A new In­vest­ment Plan sig­nals how, when and why the Gov­ern­ment will in­vest over a three-year hori­zon.

“The In­vest­ment Plan will be up­dated an­nu­ally, cre­at­ing a rolling fund­ing hori­zon and al­low­ing re­searchers to bet­ter pre­dict up­com­ing fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. It aligns with the fu­ture di­rec­tion sig­nalled in the NSSI to en­sure in­vest­ment is tar­geted in high-im­pact ar­eas,” says Joyce in a state­ment. MBIE told Man­age­ment that busi­nesses were able to ap­ply as long as they had the re­search ca­pa­bil­ity needed or were in part­ner­ship with a re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion.

• For more in­for­ma­tion: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/sci­en­cein­no­va­tion/in­vest­ment-fund­ing/cur­rent­fund­ing/science-in­vest­ment-round

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