Budget 2013 has recognised the importance of the Marsden Fund to New Zealand’s science and innovation system with a funding increase of $20 million over four years.
Since 2008 Government support for the fund has increased by 37 per cent, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said in media statement today.
The funding forms part of the $100 million a year internationally focused growth package, a centrepiece of Budget 2013, Joyce said.
“The New Zealand science system is a crucial part of our competitive advantage internationally,” Mr Joyce says.
“It strengthens innovation and our tertiary education sector, and provides many international linkages in its own right. Access to the Marsden Fund is an important factor in attracting and retaining high quality scientists in New Zealand.
“The increased funding in Budget 2013 will lift the annual size of the Marsden Fund by 11 per cent and improve the success rate for eligible researchers bidding into the Fund, which is one of New Zealand’s premier investigator-led research funds.
“This funding will enable our country’s top scientific researchers to conduct quality research in their fields of expertise, which will have many flow-on effects for New Zealand’s scientific community.”
The support for the Marsden Fund follows the announcement of the National Science Challenges earlier this month. On 1 May, the Government announced 10 research areas under the National Science Challenges initiative, including an increase of $73.5 million over four years for the Challenge projects.