Up to $25.9m expected to be invested in revised research partnership programme

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced a refreshed version of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) research partnership programme will open for applications in December with funding awarded in late-2017.

After completing a full review of the programme, he said, the Government expects to invest up to $25.9 million over seven years in the first round of a revised Partnerships Scheme.

The refreshed scheme has moved from the previous on-demand mechanism to a more structured annual, but still very open, call for proposals, he says.

MBIE has published an Investment Plan and Gazette Notice for the refreshed Partnerships Scheme, setting out the details about how and where investments will be made in future.

“We intend to diversify the mix of sectors participating in the scheme. This will include encouraging partnerships from firms or sectors that have not received funding to date to consider applying to this scheme,” Mr Joyce says.

The Partnerships Scheme provides a means of stimulating collaborative sector-led research in areas of longer term potential for the New Zealand economy. It requires a minimum of two separate partners alongside government.

“This scheme plays an important role among other government investment mechanisms for encouraging the growth of business R&D. These include the Primary Growth Partnership, which focuses on improvements to the end-to-end value chain associated with primary industries, and Callaghan Innovation R&D grants, which provide direct support for individual firms’ R&D,” says Mr Joyce.

The National Statement of Science Investment, released by MBIE in late 2015, sets out the government’s role as a research investor and its expectations for excellence and impact in research that receives public funding.

Any one partnership programme is eligible for a maximum of 14 years co-funding (over two contract terms). The cash contribution rate from sector partners has also been increased to 60 per cent in the first cycle and 70 per cent in the second cycle to reflect the level of private benefit from the scheme.

The revised partnership scheme will have an increased focus on “excellent research” and a stronger emphasis on delivering high impact benefits to the New Zealand economy through longer term, innovative science, Mr Joyce says.

More detailed information can be found at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/science-innovation/research-partne…

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