The Government is investing $241 million in leading research projects that will help find new ways to address long-term issues like increasing our sources of renewable energy, growing knowledge-intensive industries, and tackling New Zealand's social issues says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.
The Endeavour Fund uses an open, contestable process to select excellent research proposals that will provide the highest potential impacts across a range of economic, environmental and societal objectives. This year, 71 projects were awarded funding through the fund which is New Zealand's largest contestable research fund.
"The Government is funding important research to tackle the big issues and improve living standards and wellbeing through productive, inclusive and sustainable economic development. The fund does this by backing research that is aimed at growing R&D intensive industries, transitioning to a low emissions economy and supporting the well-being of our people and communities.
"This year we will see $37 million will go to projects to help our transition to a low emissions and climate resilient economy, through the development of new energy opportunities and new materials. Projects like the GNS Science led 'Geothermal: The next generation' will look for new ways to extract geothermal energy at greater depths.
"$91 million is being invested in projects that help to create and grow knowledge-intensive industries, including the Plant & Food Research-led 'Re-imagining aquaculture', which will develop low-impact offshore technologies to transform finfish production in New Zealand.
"We've also funded a wide range of social research so that we can find ways to reduce child poverty and prison violence and improve child protection services. Performing research in these areas is crucial to turning the tide on the negative statistics we face on these issues.
"The quality of the projects funded this year demonstrates New Zealand's growing strength in applying leading-edge science to help improve the lives of New Zealanders," Megan Woods said.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)