New funding contracts for New Zealand's Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) have begun, marking the 25th anniversary of the CRIs.
The seven-year contracts, which combined represent a $1.2 billion investment, are the first to be issued through the Government’s new Strategic Science Investment Funding (SSIF) investment mechanism.
The move from five-year to seven-year funding contracts follows a review of CRI core funding to ensure alignment with the vision and design principles set out in the Government’s National Statement of Science Investment (NSSI).
The review found that increased stable funding would enable CRIs to operate more strategically and implement a number of improvements to deliver greater benefit to the science system.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says CRIs deliver "real value for New Zealand" by providing research to generate innovations for our industries that leads to finding answers to many of our national challenges.
“Their work covers many aspects that affect New Zealanders including resilience of communities and sectors to natural hazards, environmental protection and climate change, as well as high value manufacturing and development of new opportunities.”
Goldsmith says CRI funding accounts for around 15 per cent of the Government’s total science investment and represents a significant proportion of our national research activity.
“With more stable funding, CRIs can better plan for strategic scientific activity that is critical to the future of New Zealand’s economy, environment and wellbeing.”
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has worked with each CRI to develop ‘Platform Plans’ that describe how each agency will use its funding as well as targets and metrics to measure its performance.