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Govt hands out $241m in research funding

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 17 September 2019, 7:39 pm

Social issues, climate change and 'knowledge intensive industries' are the three research areas set to benefit from this year's allocation of the Endeavour Fund, New Zealand's largest contestable research fund.

The Endeavour Fund provides up to $58 million per year of new investment to fund projects that have a "high potential to benefit New Zealand or transform New Zealand's future in areas of future value, growth or critical need". Projects are funded across a number of years. This year, $241 million of total funding has been allocated.

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says 71 projects were awarded funding, from an application pool of 414. The organisations with the most successful applications are University of Otago (12), University of Auckland (10), and Victoria University (8).

"The Government is funding important research to tackle the big issues, and improve living standards and wellbeing through productive, inclusive and sustainable economic development. The fund does this by backing research that is aimed at growing R&D intensive industries, transitioning to a low emissions economy and supporting the well-being of our people and communities," Woods says.

Of the research funding allocated, $37 million will go to projects that help enable the transition to a "low emission and climate resilient economy" and $91 million is being invested in projects that help to create and grow knowledge-intensive industries. Here is a list of research projects highlighted by Minister Woods under the category of growing knowledge-intensive industries:

  • 3-D printed porous media for process engineering (University of Canterbury) - $9,812,550
  • New Frontiers in Antiviral Development (University of Otago) - $13,525,451
  • Precision Antimicrobials: Targeted Therapeutics for Food and Companion Animal Infections (University of Otago) - $8,709,022
  • Advanced, novel biopotential sensor platform for New Zealand health-tech companies (Auckland University of Technology) - $7,946,676
  • Zero-CO2 production of essential technological metals (The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington) - $6,494,327
  • Re-imagining aquaculture: inventing low-impact, offshore mobile technology that transforms finfish production (The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited) - $18,750,000
  • Geothermal: The next generation (GNS Science) - $10,689,200
  • Rapidly evolving climate-smart dairy cattle (AgResearch Limited) - $10,000,000
  • Beyond the genome: Exploiting methylomes to accelerate adaptation to a changing environment (AgResearch Limited) - $5,412,915

"We've also funded a wide range of social research so that we can find ways to reduce child poverty and prison violence, and improve child protection services. Performing research in these areas is crucial to turning the tide on the negative statistics we face on these issues," Woods says.

The full list of projects can be found here.


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