More money dished up for second round of Regional Research Institute applications

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced a second round of applications will be invited for the Regional Research Institutes initiative.

This initiative received a further $40 million in funding as part of this year’s Budget, some of which will be used to establish one to three additional research institutes outside the main centres.

The aim is to maximise business, technology and economic growth opportunities in the regions by establishing new, private research centres that help build research and development intensity and lift innovation in key regional industries.

The institutes are modelled on Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, which a recent NZIER report showed contributed $14 million in added value to the local economy and indirectly creates 91 jobs in Nelson.

Applications for the first round closed in February, and three potential institutes are undergoing a business case development process with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). An announcement will be made on these later in the year.

The second funding round will open in early November and the ministry will accept applications from that date.

“The Regional Research Institutes will be new, private and independently governed entities, funded from a mixture of public and private sources,” Mr Joyce says.

“Our regional economies have different resources and strengths. These institutes will focus on scientific research relevant to a particular region, with a strong emphasis on the effective transfer of research into new technologies, new firms, and new products and services.”

In Budget 2015, the Government placed $25 million in contingency over three years for the establishment of Regional Research Institutes. Budget 2016 sets aside an additional $40 million, bringing the total funding in contingency to $65 million over four years.

More information and a full list of applicants to the first funding round can be found here on the MBIE website.



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