$56.8m more for contestable science funding

Steven Joyce

15 MAY, 2014

The Government will increase its investment in contestable science with $56.8 million of operating funding over three years starting from 2015/16 as it continues to grow its science and innovation expenditure as part of the Business Growth Agenda, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says.

“High-quality scientific research is critical to increasing innovation and economic growth, and therefore to improving the lives of New Zealanders,” he says.

“Contestable science funding is an important component of the overall science funding system, and this additional funding will provide more opportunities for more research projects of scale across institutions and industry.”

This announcement continues a commitment to keep significantly growing the science investment budget in tough fiscal conditions to position New Zealand well as an innovative small country on the global stage.

“The Government has set a goal of increasing public expenditure on science to 0.8 per cent of GDP as fiscal conditions allow. Each year we have added investment through programmes like the National Science Challenges, the Marsden Fund, and the development of Callaghan Innovation.

“This initiative, and the additional $53 million for Centres of Research Excellence also announced in Budget 2014, take us closer to that goal.

“Our total annual cross-government investment in science and innovation is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2015/16.”

The National Statement of Science Investment, which is being drafted, highlights the Government’s commitment to investment in science, which has increased by more than 60 per cent since 2007/08.

“This additional funding will help to achieve the goal set out in the statement – of a science system that produces high-quality, relevant, internationally connected research that makes a real difference to New Zealanders,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Statement also sets out our intention to reform the contestable funding system from 2015, to make it more flexible, less complex and more closely focused on research that is of relevance to New Zealand. This funding will support those reforms.”

The additional funding will be available from the 2015 contestable science funding round, with further increases planned for the 2016 and 2017 rounds. It will be managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

For more information contact Garry Reynolds at The Resources Guys on tellmemore@trg.co.nz