NewsPublished 25 May 2017
New funding welcome, but we need to stay competitive
New funding in research and innovation is a strategic investment in New Zealand’s future and so is welcomed by the Royal Society Te Apārangi, but it is needed for our research sector to stay competitive.
“Additional investment in science, innovation and tertiary education is welcome. The investments in the Endeavour Fund of $81.9 million and the Callaghan Innovation grants of $74.6 million, both over four years; as well as the investment in tertiary education and skills training of $132 million over 4 years are important,” says Dr Andrew Cleland, Chief Executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.
“New Zealand generates far more excellent research proposals than can be funded at present so new investment is likely to be beneficial for our nation. Further, commitment to growth in the strategically focussed Endeavour Fund, which will provide new opportunities for our research organisations, will benefit our economy.
“Research costs around the world inflate rapidly, while competition for top researchers is rising so it is vital that science and innovation expenditure increases every year. Otherwise we fall in global competitiveness for research talent and lose more of our best overseas. Thus, whilst increases in funds like the Performance Based Research fund of $52.5 million over 4 years are welcomed, we have to acknowledge that such investments are part and parcel of maintaining competitiveness.
“Antarctic science and natural hazard monitoring needed more funding to better understand and manage major risks to New Zealand from geohazards and changing climate and we are pleased the Government has recognised this,” says Dr Cleland.