1 May 2013

Big funding boost for science challenges

8:29 pm on 1 May 2013

The Government has announced it is more than doubling the funding for what it considers New Zealand's most important science challenges.

Ten National Science Challenges have been decided on for the next decade, including improving land and water quality, natural disasters, Antarctic research and biosecurity.

Some $73.5 million will be invested in the 10 areas over the next four years, in addition to $60 million the Government has already committed.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said on Wednesday the Government will need to work out which of the challenges should be focused on first.

Mr Joyce said that would depend on who is ready to get started on projects straight away, as in advanced foods where scientists and institutions are already working closely.

Bruce Clarkson, the Dean of Science and Engineering at Waikato University, hopes the funding will be fair, but fears Crown Research Institutes will get the lion's share.