Research scientists, researchers and politicians gathered at Parliament this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Marsden Fund, New Zealand’s largest fund for leading-edge, fundamental research projects.
The fund was started by government in 1994 and supports projects in the sciences, technology, engineering, maths, social sciences and the humanities. It is administered on behalf of the government by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The fund has distributed more than $600 million to over 1200 projects.
The society issued a statement on the anniversary:
“Looking back over the last two decades, it becomes clear how Marsden-funded research has benefited all New Zealanders,” says Professor Juliet Gerrard, chairperson of the Marsden Fund Council.
“Many projects have a long lead-in time, but increasing our basic understanding of the world has now brought improved environmental outcomes, new technologies and better medicines and healthcare.”
“What’s important about the Marsden Fund is that it gives our best and brightest researchers the freedom to explore their most exciting ideas. This is how important breakthroughs are made,” says Professor Gerrard.
“Who would have thought that finding a sheep that kept on having triplets would result in better IVF treatment for women? Or that investigating brain development would lead to a new product for healing wounds?
“The research being funded by the Marsden Fund today – ranging from understanding New Zealand drinking culture to investigating how pests will respond to global climate change – is work that will benefit New Zealand for decades to come.”
As part of the 20 year anniversary, The Royal Society of New Zealand put together a showcase of some of the outstanding projects the Marsden Fund has supported.\