Science New Zealand delighted at strong support for research, science & innovation

Science New Zealand is delighted to see the strong support in the Budget for research, science and innovation, says Anthony Scott, Chief Executive. 

The investment into people and infrastructure will directly contribute to a stronger economy, more resilient and healthy communities and enhanced environments in regions throughout New Zealand.  The emphasis on research opportunities, facilities and capability building will make a tangible difference for New Zealand, in both the short and longer term.  

The investment also provides essential support to New Zealand’s role and voice in the international space, contributing to policy and solutions for regional and global challenges such as climate change.

‘’The $400 million capital expenditure and $51m operating expenditure for the multi-institution research and delivery hubs in the Wellington region has regional, national and global significance,” Scott says.  

“The better facilities, purpose-designed for modern scientific and innovation needs, will enable greater cooperation across the educators, researchers and end-users that make up the research, science and innovation community.  There will be significant economic benefits to the region and nationally from innovative businesses likely to emerge or be strengthened by these initiatives.  

“The investment recognises that attracting and keeping the top talent New Zealand needs, requires top-class facilities. These need to be true hubs of excellence. We look forward to more detail.

“Science New Zealand members will enthusiastically support the development of the new fellowships and applied doctorates. Research careers are no longer linear. They need support throughout early, mid and late stages, and for people coming from different life experiences. CRIs already mentor or co-supervise about 500 PhD and Masters students, providing a non-academic research environment, working with industry and other end users, and on New Zealand needs.

“The commitment to fund New Zealand’s access to Horizon Europe research and innovation will have immediate and enduring benefit to New Zealand researchers. This enables our research and innovation communities to be part of a top-flight global community, influence the global agenda, and to do it from New Zealand.”

Dr Axel Heiser, Chief Scientist at AgResearch, comments:

‘’Overall, it is pleasing to see significant new investment going into science and a continued push towards greater collaboration and sharing of resources and expertise through the new “Science City” hubs.

‘’As has been signalled in the process so far for Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways programme, a small country like New Zealand needs to focus its energies on what it can achieve collectively, rather than operating in silos and organisations fighting over every research dollar. That greater collaboration is where Crown Research Institutes like ours are already moving, but more investment certainly helps that process.

‘’Investment into future talent is critical and so the funding announced in the Budget for research fellowships and to train more PhD students is welcome. We hear regularly from our own PhD students how challenging it is for them to participate and build towards a science career in the current economic climate. Efforts to encourage more young Māori and Pacific researchers is also to be applauded as we badly need that greater diversity in our science and research sector.

‘’Having access to the Horizon Europe research programme, supported by funding in the Budget, presents opportunities to work alongside leading international scientists and to be part of some important science globally. Getting access to funded projects in the programme will be challenging, but there will be New Zealand researchers excited about the prospect.’’


Notes to Editor:  Science New Zealand members are the seven Crown Research Institutes (AgResearch, ESR, GNS Science, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, NIWA, Plant & Food Research and Scion) with Callaghan Innovation as an associate member. Collectively, the members have over 5000 staff across 50 sites around New Zealand, often co-located with other research organisations and industry, and revenues of close to $900 million.

Contact: Anthony Scott, Chief Executive, 027-222-7469