Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced the short-listing of three proposals to establish new regional research institutes. These applicants will now enter the business case development stage of the selection process.
Regional research institutes are to be developed in areas outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to help build research and development intensity and lift innovation in key regional industries.
Twenty-four proposals from 16 different locations were received for consideration.
The three shortlisted proposals are:
- New Zealand Institute of Viticulture and Oenology, Marlborough, led by the New Zealand Winegrowers – research to support the growth and continuing success of the New Zealand wine industry.
- Centre for Space Science Technology, Central Otago, led by Bodeker Scientific – research allowing the use of space-based measurements and unique to New Zealand satellite imagery to develop solutions tailored to regions and key sectors, for example, in water resource management and regional planning.
- Earth+Vantage, Southland, led by Venture Southland – research using real time satellite and ground-based data to lift primary industry productivity across New Zealand, in areas such as precision farming, forestry and marine management.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will work with the three applicants on a more detailed analysis of their proposals and determine the preferred options that deliver the greatest value from the potential. Cabinet then will decide which new institutes will be established.
The development of privately-led regional research institutes was announced as part of Budget 2015 with funding for up to $25 million over three years to support the initiative. Proposals were invited from groups of businesses, researchers and private investors in November 2015.
The ministry will also contact unsuccessful applicants to give them evaluation feedback for them to consider when building on their initial concepts and for applying to any future funding rounds.