new zealand research funding

Growing research and development

This chapter explores New Zealand’s investment in R&D. It presents total research expenditure and trends, research funding and detail on funding by different sources. Note that throughout this report 'R&D expenditure' refers to the amount of money attributed to R&D activity for a given sector.

This chapter does not reflect the impacts of COVID-19. The Stats NZ research and development survey data reflects financial years, and for most organisations the 2020 financial year ended on 31 March 2020. The figures presented in this chapter are for financial years and not calendar years. For most organisations the 2020 financial year ended on 31 March 2020, so data relates largely to the period before any impact of COVID-19.

Kei roto i tēnei wāhanga In this chapter

Ngā miramira wāhanga chapter highlights.

Between 2010 and 2020, total R&D expenditure increased by 90 per cent. Although R&D expenditure increased across business, government and higher education sectors, it was mainly driven by substantial increases in business R&D.

In 2020, R&D was primarily undertaken by government, business and higher education sectors to benefit the primary industries, manufacturing, health, information and communication services, and the environment industries.

New Zealand generates more publications per dollar invested in research than other small advanced economies.

1.1 — Ngā whakapaunga R&D Expenditure on R&D

Total r&d expenditure by sector.

Total expenditure on R&D is used as a measure of R&D activity in New Zealand. It increased by 90 per cent between 2010 and 2020. Although expenditure on R&D has increased across all sectors (ie government, higher education and business), the greatest increase was in the business sector. Business contributed 60 per cent of the total expenditure in 2020 – up from 41 per cent in 2010.

Total expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP

As a proportion of GDP, total R&D expenditure in New Zealand is low compared with Australia, the OECD and other small advanced economies (see Small Advanced Economy Initiative ).

In 2019, New Zealand's total R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP was 1.41 per cent, up from 1.25 per cent in 2009.

R&D expenditure by sector and purpose of research

Expenditure on R&D is undertaken in the business, government and higher education sectors. The amounts vary and a wide range of industries benefit.

Government R&D is directed towards health, environment, primary industries and manufacturing. These areas accounted for about 90 per cent of all government expenditure on R&D in 2020.

Business R&D expenditure in 2020 was targeted towards manufacturing, primary industries, health, and information and communication services. This accounted for 70 per cent of overall business R&D expenditure.

Higher education R&D expenditure in 2020 was focussed on health, education and training, general knowledge, cultural understanding and the environment. These areas comprised half (54%) of all higher education expenditure on R&D in 2020.

In 2020, almost three quarters (73%) of all R&D expenditure of benefit to the environment was government-funded. In the same year, the business sector undertook all of the R&D for construction and transport and information and communication services. The business sector also undertook most of the R&D for commercial services and tourism (86%). In contrast, the higher education sector mostly undertook R&D to benefit cultural understanding (84%) and education and training (68%).

COVID-19 research activity and database

A July 2020 analysis of peer-reviewed publications related to COVID-19 showed that most New Zealand research was in public health and clinical science. Most non-medical research was focussed on the social effects of the pandemic including tourism, psychology and policy. About 10 per cent of researchers had published in completely new research fields.

A central database of COVID-19 research and funding was set up by the New Zealand Research Information System team at MBIE to support researchers to share ideas and work together.

Read more and access the database .

1.2 — Tuku pūtea R&D R&D funding

R&d funding by source and sector of recipient.

Total funding for R&D grew by nearly 80 per cent between 2010 and 2020. Most of the increase was in business funding. Since 2016, business has been the largest source of funding for R&D in New Zealand.

Between 2010 and 2020, the government was the largest funder of R&D, with funds primarily targeted towards the higher education and government research sectors. Funding from non-government sources (business and overseas) increased from 43 to 58 per cent of the total during this period.

1.3 — Tuku pūtea tūmatanui ki R&D Public funding of R&D

Total public r&d funding.

Public funding for R&D rose by 75 per cent between 2010 and 2020. Although R&D tax incentives and some grant funding (such as project grants) are targeted to businesses, these are not tied to specific socioeconomic outcomes and are not included in government budget allocations for R&D. Public funding as a percentage of GDP is also presented in this figure for the same time period.

Public R&D funding as a percentage of GDP compared with other small advanced economies

Public funding of R&D in New Zealand is low compared with other small advanced economies, but has increased by 0.15 per cent since 2017. This trend in R&D growth as a percentage of GDP is also seen in countries such as Australia and Denmark.

Public funding by mechanism

Public funding of R&D is provided through a number of mechanisms, like the Endeavour Fund and Centres of Research Excellence funding .

The largest increases in funding have been directed towards supporting industry research, including investment through the Strategic Science Investment Fund .

This graph does not include the Research and Development Tax Incentive that was introduced in April 2019.

Advanced Energy Technology Platform

Developing technologies to transform the way energy is produced, used, managed and stored

Advanced energy technology research is essential to improve energy security and access, and to reduce pressure on the environment and emissions of greenhouse gases. The Government is investing $50 million over 7 years to ensure New Zealand is at the forefront of energy technology research and innovation. The first three funded programmes are:

  • high power electric motors for large-scale transport – developing new component technologies for future electric aircraft
  • architecture of the future low-carbon, resilient, electrical power system – how high levels of direct current can be efficiently integrated into the alternating current electricity grid
  • Ahuora: delivering sustainable industry through smart process heat decarbonisation – developing critical technology for decarbonising the process heat sector.

Read more .

COVID-19 rapid research response

In April 2020, the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Ministry of Health provided funding for research related to COVID-19. The aim was to support New Zealand’s immediate readiness and response to the threat of an outbreak as well as long-term challenges to health and wellbeing.

Two funded projects related to the development of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Additional COVID-19 funding was provided for research-based innovations. Further information is presented in Chapter 3.

See Rapid diagnosis and genome sequencing to follow CoV-2019 outbreak and DNA Diagnostics & Research Distinguishing COVID-19 from influenza with rapid 15-minute diagnostic or read more about the investment .

1.4 — Ngā whakapaunga pakihi ki te R&D Business expenditure on R&D

Funding sources for business r&d expenditure.

Businesses are likely to invest in their own R&D, but they also access other opportunities from public funding provided by government, tertiary institutions, overseas and other sources.

Total business expenditure on R&D (BERD) had a 2.8-fold increase over 2010–2020 (from $971 to $2,709 million). In 2020, 73 per cent of this increase amount ($1,941 million) was contributed by businesses' own funds.

Funding for business R&D from other sources also increased. Government funding increased 3.6-fold from $82 to $295 million for 2010–2020. Funding from overseas sources grew 4.2-fold from $81 to $344 million for 2010–2020.

Business expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP compared with other small advanced economies

Despite recent increases, business expenditure on R&D in New Zealand is relatively low compared with other small advanced economies. This is partly due to the large number of small businesses that are less likely to undertake R&D, as well as the predominance of businesses in industries with historically low levels of R&D.

Temporary R&D loan scheme

Supporting businesses to continue R&D in the COVID environment

Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic put business R&D programmes at risk of being cut or put on hold, with urgent and short term needs taking priority. This temporary government scheme provided loans of up to $400,000 to eligible business to fund planned R&D programmes. It recognised that high-value R&D activity would contribute to a faster economic recovery by creating new export opportunities and increasing New Zealand’s productivity.

1.5 — Ngā whakapaunga kāwanatanga ki te R&D Government expenditure on R&D

Funding sources for government r&d expenditure.

Total government expenditure on R&D (GovERD) increased by 23.3 per cent between 2010 and 2020, primarily through greater public funding. Funding from business increased by 1.2-fold during this time.

Most government R&D is carried out by Crown research institutes, which also receive contracts or grants from private and overseas funders.

In 2020, R&D funding from government was more than half (52%) of the total amount of government expenditure on R&D. This was followed by private sector funding and overseas funders, which contributed 32 per cent towards government expenditure on R&D.

Government expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP compared with other small advanced economies

Government R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP in New Zealand was relatively high compared with other small advanced economies. However, from 2009 to 2019 this expenditure decreased from 0.32 to 0.24 per cent of GDP.

Funding for CRIs makes up a large part of government expenditure on R&D. These organisations have a unique and important role to support innovation and growth in relevant sectors. They are also tasked with addressing New Zealand’s most pressing issues and achieving economic growth by improving productivity and the sustainable use of natural resources.

new zealand research funding

Long-term research partnership releases new red kiwifruit

First there was green, then came gold, and now a brand new red kiwifruit is heading for supermarket shelves around the world. It’s the latest variety to come from the Plant & Food Research–Zespri partnership and the culmination of two decades of intensive plant breeding, market research and horticultural trials.

1.6 — Ngā whakapaunga mātauranga matua ki te R&D Higher education expenditure on R&D

Funding sources for higher education r&d expenditure.

Total expenditure for higher education on R&D (HERD) rose by about 35 per cent for 2010–2020 from $802 to $1082 million. Approximately 44 per cent of funding over this period came from government, with a small amount from business and overseas sources (between 4.5 and 8.1%).

Since 2010, almost half of the total R&D funding for higher education came from universities and other tertiary institutions. These institutions have a special role as research enables teaching staff to stay at the forefront of their field. These institutions also develop the next generation of scientists and innovators through doctoral and other postgraduate degrees.

Higher education expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP

New Zealand's higher education expenditure on R&D fell from 0.41 per cent of GDP in 2009 to 0.34 per cent in 2019. A similar decrease was observed in some other small advanced economies (Israel, Singapore and Ireland), while others (Denmark, Switzerland and Finland) had increases during the same period.

1.7 — Ngā whakaputaranga rangahau Research productivity

Publications per researcher compared with other small advanced economies.

The publications per researcher metric provides a partial view of research productivity. This is because research can take several years to publish and some fields produce more publications than others.

In 2015, there was a change in the way that researchers were counted, with Masters students being included in the researcher count from that year. This has resulted in a drop in the number of publications per researcher. Since 2015, the number of publications per New Zealand researcher has been between 0.54 and 0.73.

Publications per million dollars spent compared with other small advanced economies

New Zealand researchers consistently produce a high number of publications per dollar spent when compared to Australia and most small advanced economies (except for Ireland).

The number of New Zealand publications per dollar spent increased by 13 per cent from 2011 to 2019.

new zealand research funding

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new zealand research funding

We award the majority of our funding through our annual contestable funding round to research ideas that come from researchers themselves.

A competitive process ensures that high quality and relevant research is supported across four research investment streams, which include biomedical, clinical, public health, health services, Māori health and Pacific health research sectors. We don't fund research that is not relevant to health outcomes or which is primarily operational or management focused.

Current funding

2024 Health Delivery Research Project Grant The Health Delivery Research Project Grant provides support for health delivery research of varying values and durations. The research must be connected to health delivery at a practice, policy or system-level. At a minimum, this requires having Named Investigators based in healthcare delivery settings with involvement to shape the research need, undertake the research, and identify translational potential. The HRC expects to fund a range of grant values and durations up to a maximum term of 5 years and a maximum value of $1.4 million.

Recent funding

2024 Explorer Grants Researchers from any health discipline are invited to apply for one of the HRC’s Explorer Grants. Proposals must describe the transformative, innovative or exploratory aspects of the proposal and how it challenges conventional understanding in the field. Explorer Grants are worth $150,000 (research working expenses only) for a term of up to 24 months.

2024 Projects We offer funding of up to $1,200,000 for research projects that have the potential to vastly improve the health of New Zealanders. Projects can cover a diverse range of areas, from biomedical and public health to clinical studies, Māori-focused research, and Pacific health research. Most projects have a term of three years, but we can negotiate terms of up to five years.

2024 Emerging Researcher First Grants These grants support emerging researchers who are seeking to establish independent careers in health research. Up to a maximum of $400,000 for three years is available.

2024 Programmes Programmes provide support for the long-term development of a health research field by a group of established investigators with an outstanding track record of achievement. They should have a strategic, long-term vision that will contribute to significantly improving health outcomes for New Zealanders. Up to $5 million is available over five years.

2023 Health Delivery Research Activation Grant 2 The Health Delivery Research Activation Grants provides support to enable established or prospective researchers and/or research providers to establish health delivery research evidence needs or research opportunities before applying for further health delivery funding. Up to $30,000 is available over a maximum term of 12 months.

2023 Health Delivery Research Career Development Award 2 The Health Delivery Research Career Development Award is a career development opportunity with a funded placement in a health delivery research team or health sector setting. It is designed as an alternative pathway into health delivery research aimed at attracting more people with relevant skills into this discipline. The award is available to fund salary and salary associated costs of the applicant over a maximum term of 12 months.

2024 Health Delivery Research Activation Grant 1 The Health Delivery Research Activation Grant provides support to enable established or prospective researchers and/or research providers to establish health delivery research evidence needs or research opportunities before applying for further health delivery funding. Up to $30,000 is available over a maximum term of 12 months.

2024 Health Delivery Research Career Development Award 1 The Health Delivery Research Career Development Award is a career development opportunity with a funded placement in a health delivery research team or health sector setting. It is designed as an alternative pathway into health delivery research aimed at attracting more people with relevant skills into this discipline. The award is available to fund salary and salary associated costs of the applicant over a maximum term of 12 months.

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Performance-Based Research Fund

The purpose of the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is to increase the quality of research by ensuring that excellent research in the tertiary education sector is encouraged and rewarded. This means assessing the research performance of tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and then funding them on the basis of their performance.

Te Pūkenga, private training establishments (PTEs), universities and wānanga can choose to participate.

The PBRF is an on-Plan fund.

The Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is designed to increase the quality of research by encouraging and rewarding excellent research in Aotearoa New Zealand’s degree-granting organisations. It does not fund specific research projects directly, but provides bulk funding to support an organisation’s research capability, including postgraduate-level teaching support.

The primary objectives of the PBRF are to:

  • increase the quality of basic and applied research at Aotearoa New Zealand's degree-granting TEOs;
  • support world-leading, research-led teaching and learning at degree and postgraduate levels;
  • assist Aotearoa New Zealand's TEOs to maintain and lift their competitive rankings relative to their international peers;
  • provide robust public information to stakeholders about research performance within and across TEOs; and
  • support a robust and inclusive system for developing and sustaining research excellence in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In doing so, the PBRF will also:

  • support the development of postgraduate student researchers and new and emerging researchers;
  • support research activities that provide economic, social, cultural, and environmental benefits to Aotearoa New Zealand, including the advancement of Mātauranga Māori; and 
  • support technology and knowledge transfer to Aotearoa New Zealand businesses, iwi and communities.

Rewarding excellence

To meet these objectives, the main focus of the PBRF is on rewarding and encouraging excellence.

For the purposes of the Quality Evaluation, research excellence will be assessed in terms of originality, rigour, reach, and significance, with reference to the quality standards appropriate to the subject area and to the unique nature of Aotearoa New Zealand’s research cultures and needs.

Excellence will be assessed across the following areas of activity:

  • The production and creation of knowledge, including ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies unique to Māori and to Pacific communities;
  • The dissemination and application of that knowledge within academic and/or other communities and its impact outside the research environment; and
  • Activity which sustains and develops the research environment, within and across both academic and non-academic domains. 

Guiding principles

The PBRF is governed by the following principles:

  • Partnership: the PBRF should reflect the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand and the special role and status of the Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Equity: different approaches and resources are needed to ensure that the measurement of research excellence leads to equitable outcomes.
  • Inclusiveness: the PBRF should encourage and recognise the full diversity of epistemologies, knowledges and methodologies to reflect Aotearoa New Zealand’s people.
  • Comprehensiveness: the PBRF should appropriately measure the quality of the full range of original investigative activity that occurs within the sector, regardless of its type, form, or place of output. 
  • Respect for academic traditions: the PBRF should operate in a manner that is consistent with academic freedom and institutional autonomy. 
  • Consistency: evaluations of quality made through the PBRF should be consistent across the different subject areas and in the calibration of quality ratings against international standards of excellence. 
  • Continuity: changes to the PBRF process should only be made where they can bring demonstrable improvements that outweigh the cost of implementing them. 
  • Differentiation: the PBRF should allow stakeholders and the Government to differentiate between providers and their units on the basis of their relative quality. 
  • Credibility: the methodology, format and processes employed in the PBRF must be credible to those being assessed. 
  • Efficiency: administrative and compliance costs should be kept to the minimum, consistent with a robust and credible process. 
  • Transparency: decisions and decision-making processes must be explained openly, except where there is a need to preserve confidentiality and privacy. 
  • Complementarity: the PBRF should be integrated with new and existing policies, such as Investment Plans, and quality assurance systems for degrees and degree providers.

Background to the PBRF

In November 2001, the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission recommended the introduction of a performance-based research fund for tertiary education organisations (TEOs). 

The Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF) Working Group was established in July 2002. It advised government on the detailed design and implementation of a performance-based system for funding research in New Zealand’s degree-granting organisations.

Cabinet endorsed the PBRF Working Group’s recommendations in December 2002. These recommendations, which are the basis of the PBRF, are in the report Investing in Excellence (PDF 604 KB) .

The origins of PBRF funding are in the funding provided to tertiary education organisations for teaching, specifically the portion they received as a “top-up” for teaching research degrees. These funds were not intended to fund research, but to enable tertiary education providers to provide research-based teaching. While the Government has invested additional money over time, most of the fund comes from these top-ups. 

How the fund works

The PBRF comprises three funding components:

  • The Quality Evaluation,
  • Research Degree Completions, and
  • External Research Income.

PBRF funding is paid through the Investment Plan . Delivery of the Plan is monitored by the TEC.

Quality Evaluation

The Quality Evaluation is an assessment of the research performance of staff at eligible TEOs, including universities, Te Pūkenga, wānanga and private training establishments (PTEs). TEOs present their staff members' research in Evidence Portfolios, which are assessed for quality by expert peer review panels. 

This component is used to allocate 55 percent of the PBRF funding pool, determined by the Government through its annual Budget.

The Quality Evaluation is held periodically. The next Quality Evaluation will be in 2026. 

There have been four previous Quality Evaluation rounds, in 2003, 2006, 2012 and 2018. For more information about these earlier rounds see Previous Quality Evaluation Rounds .

Research Degree Completions

The Research Degree Completions component is a yearly measurement of the number of PBRF-eligible postgraduate research-based degrees completed at participating TEOs.

This component is used to allocate 25 percent of the fund.

For information on how RDC funding is calculated, see Detailed fund information – PBRF .

External Research Income

The External Research Income (ERI) component is a yearly measurement of the amount and type of income participating TEOs receive for research purposes from external sources.

This component is used to allocate 20 percent of the fund.

For information on how ERI funding is calculated, see Detailed fund information – PBRF .

ERI weighting

Following the 2019–20 review of the PBRF, the Government amended the weightings applied to the different types of ERI.

From 1 January 2022 ERI income is weighted by income source as follows. 

The new weightings on ERI income source apply to the 2022 ERI data that is reported in 2023 and will inform the calculation of TEOs’ PBRF funding allocations from the 2024 funding year onwards. By 2026, all of the ERI component will be allocated based on ERI weighted by source.

Any ERI data reported by TEOs for years prior to 2022 will continue to be weighted at the rates set out in the 2014 Funding Determination, as set out in the table below.

Allocation of funding for ERI is based on each TEO’s proportion of the total ERI earned by all participating TEOs, weighted by funding source. 

For guidance on completing ERI returns, see the  PBRF User Manual v5 (PDF 907 KB) .

Review of the PBRF, 2019–2020

Cabinet announced changes to the PBRF in July 2021, after a review of the PBRF in 2019–2020.

The review examined how to support research excellence by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the PBRF. It aimed to ensure the benefits of research are shared across Aotearoa New Zealand.

For more information on the review, including the panel’s final report and Cabinet’s decisions on changes to the PBRF, see  Performance-Based Research Fund – Ministry of Education .

Fund Finder

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We provide funding for projects, events, programmes or initiatives that reflect our mission.

What type of funding is available?

We provide Activity Grants of up to $5,000. Due to demand we are currently not accepting new applications.

We also promote opportunities for New Zealanders to participate in and benefit from UNESCO international and regional programmes and activities, such as enabling New Zealanders to apply for UNESCO opportunities and participation by New Zealand experts in UNESCO meetings. Funding may be available to support these opportunities.

BG NEWTOWN FEST

Our Activity Grant funding

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO has allocated a limited amount of funding to support initiatives that align with our mission and strategic priorities (below).

Mission: Deepening connections between the people of Aotearoa – New Zealand and UNESCO globally through the sharing of ideas and building capability for a better and more peaceful future.

And priority areas:

  • Oceans for the Wellbeing of People and the Planet, in particular the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
  • Resilient, Regenerative and Sustainable Communities.
  • Indigenous Knowledge, including the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2031).
  • Freedom of Expression.
  • UNESCO programmes in New Zealand.

The National Commission invites applications from people with ideas for projects that can connect us all. Applications for Activity Grants of up to $5,000 are currently paused due to high demand.

When applying for an activity grant you must do so at least six weeks before your activity starts..

We are also open to receiving other enquiries for projects or initiatives that align with UNESCO’s mandate and our priority areas.

For more information download our Activity Grant Information Pack.

National award

The Beeby Award is a partnership between the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER). The Award, previously known as the Beeby Fellowship, was first awarded in 1998. It is named after Dr Clarence Beeby who, in 1934, became the first Director of NZCER, and was Assistant Director-General of UNESCO from 1948-49.

The Beeby Award supports development of an innovative learning resource based on high quality research. The Award supports collaboration between research and practice communities so that learners benefit from research findings. The learning resource can be in any format that enables easy use in a range of learning environments, not limited to schools.

The Award is worth $30,000. The recipient/s are expected to devote 3-4 months full-time or equivalent on the Award. The resulting resource is expected to be of high quality and will be published by NZCER Press.

  • Read about the 2020 Beeby Award recipients.
  • Read about the resources created by previous Beeby Award recipients .

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  • You are currently on: Performance-based research funding

Performance-based research funding

The performance based research fund (pbrf).

This is how the New Zealand government assesses research output and quality, and allocates research funding to tertiary institutions. Three measures determine how the funding is apportioned: i) Quality evaluation,  ii) Research degree completions, and iii) External research income. In the latest round in 2018, the University of Auckland had 390 FTE or 33% of the A-rated researchers in the country.

Note: 18.4% of Staff in 2003 received an R grade. The total eligible do not include staff in UniServices.

Top subjects in 2018

For more information, please refer to the TEC website .

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Poll Backs More Freedom at New Zealand Universities

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Poll Backs More Freedom at New Zealand Universities

A poll has found that most New Zealanders would support government funding of universities if they uphold academic freedom.

Commissioned by the NZ Free Speech Union and conducted by Curia Market Research, it shows that 53 percent support the idea, while 19 percent oppose it.

The question put to respondents was: “Do you think government funding should be partially contingent on how well a university does in upholding academic freedom?”

The result is consistent with a poll last year which showed 75 percent of New Zealanders believe free speech is “a defining cultural value” and that a majority believe it is under threat, said the Free Speech Union’s Chief Executive Jonathan Ayling.

“The government’s policy to withdraw funding from universities that fail in their core duties to defend the rights of academics to academic freedom is not only necessary to restore free speech in New Zealand; it’s a policy a majority support,” he said.

Free Speech Debate Postponed

A Victory for Academic Freedom but the War Can Still Be Lost

The University was forced to postpone plans for a freedom of speech debate after outcry over what some saw as a lack of diversity and the presence of right-leanings panellists, including Mr. Ayling.

The University’s vice-chancellor, Nic Smith, said the debate’s line-up had been expanded to include a “very balanced panel” with the addition of a Māori political commentator, rainbow community and inclusivity advocate, and additional academic speakers.

“There are those within the university who are ideologically opposed to the basic freedoms that have led to the very function and flourishing of the university,” Mr. Ayling said. “If free speech and academic freedom are not maintained in universities, what is the point of the university? It’s indoctrination, not education.

“The Free Speech Union’s recently launched profession-specific membership for academics is just one response we are leading to restore academic freedom in Kiwi universities, and free speech for the tens of thousands of young New Zealanders who pursue tertiary education to learn how to think, not be told what to think,” he said.

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New Zealand Increases Defence Spending by $500 Million Amid Beijing Aggression

New Zealand Increases Defence Spending by $500 Million Amid Beijing Aggression

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Water Research Hub Earns 5 More Years of Funding

The national alliance for water innovation will continue work to make us water supplies more accessible, affordable, and energy efficient.

Two people discuss research poster inside hotel ballroom

Most Americans get their water from traditional sources, like large freshwater reservoirs or groundwater—fresh, underground rivers flowing beneath our feet.

But change is coming.

Climate change, population growth, and increased industrial and agricultural production are several factors (among many) that are stressing U.S. and global freshwater supplies.

“To supply the water needs of the future, it is critical that the United States develop technologies that provide alternative water sources,” said Abhishek Roy, a senior staff scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and member of the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI).

And NAWI is doing exactly that.

A National Hub Earns More Support

First launched in 2019, NAWI is a research hub that brings together a world-class team of partners from industry and academia, as well as the hub’s public membership organization, called the NAWI Alliance . Together, these experts and water treatment stakeholders are working to lower the cost and energy of water purification technologies, including those that can transform nontraditional water sources, like wastewater or salty groundwater, into clean drinking water.

As of April 2024, NAWI has been extended for five more years, so the team can continue to hone water treatment technologies and increase access to clean drinking water for all Americans, all while reducing the energy and emissions associated with water treatment processes. The organization has received $75 million in funding from two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offices: the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office and the Water Power Technologies Office.

“The extension is great news,” said Matthew Ringer, the laboratory program manager for advanced manufacturing at NREL and NAWI’s partnerships director. “NAWI has more than 460 organizations and more than 1,800 members from around the world who are working together to help produce secure, reliable, and affordable water for communities that are most in need.”

NAWI is led by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in partnership with NREL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

A Master Road Map to More Secure, Affordable Water

In its first five years, NAWI accomplished a lot—with help from its many members, including researchers at NREL. NREL’s Jordan Macknick led an early NAWI win: a master road map that identifies the highest-priority research needs for water desalination (or purification) and where such technologies are already in use. From the beginning, this road map helped NAWI members optimize their investments; it also serves as the foundation—and future guide—for NAWI’s five-year extension. Macknick also leads one of NAWI’s core research areas—the Data Modeling and Analysis topic area —which focuses on analyzing the cost, efficiency, and performance of entire water treatment systems.

This type of research also happens to be one of NREL’s areas of expertise.

For example, NREL’s Kurban Sitterley helped improve an open-source software tool that can assess the technological and economic value of more than 60 different water treatment technologies. Water treatment researchers and facilities can use the tool, called the Water Treatment Technoeconomic Assessment Platform (or WaterTAP), to evaluate technologies that could help reduce their costs and energy consumption while continuing to meet existing and future water demands. (Sitterley also developed a new model for WaterTAP that can evaluate one of the most promising ways to remove forever chemicals and other contaminants from drinking water).

Plus, WaterTAP can help assess how water treatment facilities could use renewable energy resources, like solar, wind, and geothermal, along with batteries to power their facilities without raising their costs. Some community-scale treatment systems could even provide water for disaster relief and recovery missions or remote military deployments.

“This funding extension is essential to continue the maturation of these technologies and improve their cost and performance,” said Scott Struck, a senior integrated water systems research scientist at NREL.

Solutions for Communities With Dwindling or Contaminated Water Supplies

Struck appreciates how much NAWI has advanced water treatment tools, technologies, policies, and planning. But he is especially excited about NAWI’s work with communities. Even in the United States, not all communities have access to uncontaminated drinking water. In one area of the Central Valley of California, the available drinking water contains high levels of arsenic (a carcinogen), making it unsafe to drink. Because the community is small and financially unable to shoulder the costs of a centralized water treatment system, the residents resorted to buying bottled water instead.

But with NAWI’s help, the community could receive a more affordable and sustainable solution: smaller, more modular water treatment technologies that can filter out enough arsenic to achieve drinking water standards. With that, the community could access a local, more affordable water supply.

In NAWI’s next five years—which has been dubbed NAWI 2.0—the organization will pursue more community-based projects to help Americans maintain affordable and effective drinking water even as hotter temperatures or droughts threaten their supplies. NAWI Alliance members will also continue to advance desalination and other novel technologies that can treat unconventional water sources and cut greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

“NREL is excited that DOE has extended NAWI for another five years,” Ringer said. “We look forward to working with our partners in national labs, academia, and industry to drive solutions for decarbonizing water and wastewater sectors.”

“Working together,” Struck added, “the NAWI community will help secure a more sustainable and resilient water supply.”

Become a thought leader in clean water innovation and join the NAWI Alliance for free today to unite with world-class lab, industry, and academic experts to address some of the greatest water and energy security challenges.

Callaghan Innovation

Health research council, royal society of new zealand.

  • Commercialisation Partner Network
  • Catalyst Fund
  • COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund
  • Curious Minds
  • Endeavour Fund
  • Envirolink Scheme
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Capability Fund
  • Extreme weather science response
  • He whakawhānui i te pāpātanga o Vision Mātauranga – mahere haumi 2023
  • Expanding the Impact of Vision Mātauranga – 2023 investment plan
  • MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship
  • National Science Challenges
  • Partnerships
  • PreSeed Accelerator Fund
  • Strategic Science Investment Fund
  • Regional Research Institutes Initiative
  • Who got funded
  • Te Tahua Whakakaha o Te Pūnaha Hihiko
  • Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund
  • The Impact of Science
  • R&D Tax Incentive
  • Our Science Board
  • Our College of Assessors
  • Pītau Investment Management System Portal

Funding agencies

We work closely with a number of agencies to promote science and innovation in New Zealand. Together, we seek strong links between the science and innovation sector and overseas research interests, as well as with New Zealand businesses and the wider public.

In this section

Callaghan Innovation is one of the Government’s key priorities to build a stronger, more competitive economy.

The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) is responsible for managing the New Zealand Government’s investment in health research.

The Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi is an independent, national academy of sciences, and a federation of scientific and technological societies.

  • 2020 Fellowships Impact evaluation

Crown copyright © 2024

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/science-and-technology/science-and-innovation/funding-information-and-opportunities/funding-agencies Please note: This content will change over time and can go out of date.

IMAGES

  1. Fully Funded New Zealand Government Scholarship to Study Bachelors

    new zealand research funding

  2. (PDF) A review of the funding and prioritisation of environmental

    new zealand research funding

  3. Research Plan 2017-2020

    new zealand research funding

  4. Innovation Funding in New Zealand

    new zealand research funding

  5. Funding research in New Zealand

    new zealand research funding

  6. Where our funding goes

    new zealand research funding

VIDEO

  1. Funding research grants

  2. New funding totalling $16 million made avaiable to fix troubled Census, stop next one failing

  3. Introducing Mendeley Funding

  4. Hopkins Research Seed Grant Funding Information Session on 31/1/24

  5. BBiomedSc(Hons) University of Otago, Christchurch

COMMENTS

  1. Funding information and opportunities

    The funding process. We use a range of funding and support programmes to invest the majority of our science and innovation funds. Each programme is supported with comprehensive documentation covering application and assessment details. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's funding and support programmes aim to build a high ...

  2. National Science Challenges

    The Challenges represent a new way of funding research, with 5 key principles that make them unique: Mission-led. Each Challenge is mission led and focuses research on achieving the Challenge objective and outcomes. Each research plan provides a credible impact pathway of research and related activities to achieve the outcome of the Challenge.

  3. Our funds and opportunities

    Common research funding information. Common reserach funding information for the Marsden Fund, Fell... Common reserach funding information for the Marsden Fund, Fellowships, and Catalyst (international) funding ... Funding of $1,000 per application encouraging research in New Zealand zoology, botany and geology.

  4. Grants and Funding

    Grants and Funding. We currently invest $126 million a year in research studies, projects and programmes led by New Zealand's most experienced researchers, frontline clinicians, and those establishing their careers.

  5. Marsden Fund

    Marsden announcements. Announcements and media releases from the Marsden Fund Council and staff. Supports excellence in science, engineering, maths, social sciences and the humanities in New Zealand by providing grants for investigator-initiated research.

  6. Investment funds

    COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund. From April 2020 to June 2020, we called for expression of interests for COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund funding. The initial size of the Fund was $25 million (excluding GST) with an anticipated minimum proposal size of $50,000 (excluding GST) and a criteria that projects needed to achieve impact ...

  7. Catalyst Fund

    Advancing global science partnerships for New Zealand. Catalyst Fund. Advancing global science partnerships for New Zealand. Explore as a Researcher Student or Teacher Member of public. Who we are. Our role; ... Research Funding COVID-19 Updates Catalyst: Influence. Supports New Zealand science sector participation in, and membership of, key i

  8. Health research saves lives

    And in a first for the HRC, two of its three medals have gone to researchers from the same team who are working with iwi and whānau to prevent cervical cancer and improve maternity and infant outcomes. The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) is a Crown agency of the New Zealand Government. It is responsible for managing the government ...

  9. Funding opportunities

    We have funding opportunities available throughout the year, including Researcher-Initiated Proposals for projects and programmes, specific Requests for Proposals initiated by the Health Research Council and funding partners, and Career Development Awards for emerging researchers. Click on the links below to find out more about each funding ...

  10. HRC Gateway

    HRC Gateway is the Health Research Council of New Zealand's portal for funding applications, current research contracts' reporting, and peer reviews from invited experts. Announcements & updates Important dates for upcoming funding rounds

  11. Growing research and development

    In April 2020, the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Ministry of Health provided funding for research related to COVID-19. The aim was to support New Zealand's immediate readiness and response to the threat of an outbreak as well as long-term challenges to health and wellbeing.

  12. HRC Gateway

    We offer funding of up to $1,200,000 for research projects that have the potential to vastly improve the health of New Zealanders. Projects can cover a diverse range of areas, from biomedical and public health to clinical studies, Māori-focused research, and Pacific health research.

  13. PDF Health Research Council of New Zealand Research Investment Plan

    research in New Zealand. Funding opportunities are offered . across the full spectrum of health research, including biomedical, clinical, public health, health services, Māori health and Pacific health research3. We invest around $125 million each year in the health research New Zealand needs, and the diverse and skilled workforce required to ...

  14. Performance-Based Research Fund

    The Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF) Working Group was established in July 2002. It advised government on the detailed design and implementation of a performance-based system for funding research in New Zealand's degree-granting organisations. Cabinet endorsed the PBRF Working Group's recommendations in December 2002.

  15. Standard Research Grants

    Standard Research Grants. Standard Research projects represent well-defined, high-quality research proposals that have been developed in response to (or anticipation of) government policy questions, and use Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) data. Applicants can apply for up to $125,000 for 12 months.

  16. Funding

    The Beeby Award is a partnership between the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER). The Award, previously known as the Beeby Fellowship, was first awarded in 1998. It is named after Dr Clarence Beeby who, in 1934, became the first Director of NZCER, and was Assistant Director-General of UNESCO from 1948-49.

  17. Performance-based research funding

    This is how the New Zealand government assesses research output and quality, and allocates research funding to tertiary institutions. Three measures determine how the funding is apportioned: i) Quality evaluation, ii) Research degree completions, and iii) External research income. In the latest round in 2018, the University of Auckland had 390 ...

  18. A portfolio analysis of autism research funding in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Previously documented global trends in autism research funding have been skewed towards biology research, which is at odds with the priorities expressed by autistic and autism community members. ...

  19. Poll Backs More Freedom at New Zealand Universities

    5/10/2024. X 1. 0:00. A poll has found that most New Zealanders would support government funding of universities if they uphold academic freedom. Commissioned by the NZ Free Speech Union and ...

  20. A review of grass species yields and growth rates in Northland, New Zealand

    Pastoral farming in the Northland region of New Zealand is a major land use with 3171 farm holdings in 2022, and a total area of 637,500 hectares. ... Funding. Funding was provided by Beef + Lamb New Zealand under the research program: 'Advancing AgYields to support forage/crop decision making' (Project Number: 21195-3), the 'Extension ...

  21. Who got funded

    On this page. Who got funded - May 2024 [XLSX, 1.3 MB] Who Got Funded lists the science and innovation contracts funded by us and the "public good" science funded by the precursor organisations: The Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) The Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST). It does not include:

  22. Strategic Science Investment Fund

    Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand; Research Vessel Tangaroa; Review of scientific collections and databases; SSIF background and funding. Budget 2016 brought several existing investments into the new SSIF and announced additional funding of $63 million over 4 years. An extra $40.5 million was committed

  23. Funding calendar

    In the Gateway Funding Calendar you will find the opening and closing dates for upcoming funding opportunities. ... Health Research Council of New Zealand Main menu. What we do. Investing in excellent research; Connecting with partners for impact; Strengthening the workforce;

  24. Research priorities

    The Prioritisation Framework is underpinned by the principles and objectives of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy 2017-2027 (NZHRS). The Strategy aims to increase the impact of government investment in health research, ultimately creating a world-leading health research and innovation system that improves the lives of all New Zealanders.

  25. Water Research Hub Earns 5 More Years of Funding

    The organization has received $75 million in funding from two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offices: the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office and the Water Power Technologies Office. "The extension is great news," said Matthew Ringer, the laboratory program manager for advanced manufacturing at NREL and NAWI's partnerships ...

  26. The funding process

    The classifications have been developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development. In New Zealand, ANZSRC is used by government, funding agencies such as the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Crown Research Institutes, universities and independent research organisations, and allows the comparison of research and ...

  27. Funding agencies

    Funding agencies. We work closely with a number of agencies to promote science and innovation in New Zealand. Together, we seek strong links between the science and innovation sector and overseas research interests, as well as with New Zealand businesses and the wider public.