At the Auckland War Memorial Museum today Prime Minister John Key announced an extra $73.5 million in funding for the science and innovation sector.
It brought the total funding to $133.5m over four years for Budget 2013.
Key said the funding put science at the heart of much of the Government’s thinking.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said the funding would go towards 10 “challenges” that scientist could tackle.
These included research around helping New Zealanders’ health at the beginning and end of their lives, research into natural disasters, helping promote and protect the country’s biodiversity including its marine reserve, and the southern ocean.
The advisory panel, led by chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman, received 200 submissions on the challenges.
Joyce said not all challenges would be solved overnight but some had refined research areas.
I quite like the idea of funding for some specific challenges or goals.
It appears the Government is on track to be back into surplus for 2014/15. They have stopped the previous runaway growth in spending across the board – but allowed some increases in a few key areas such as science, tourism and hospitals.
The 10 national science challenges announced today are:
+ Ageing well – harnessing science to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life;
+ A better start – improving the potential of young New Zealanders to have a healthy and successful life;
+ Healthier lives – research to reduce the burden of major New Zealand health problems;
+ High-value nutrition – developing high-value foods with validated health benefits;
+ New Zealand’s biological heritage – protecting and managing our biodiversity, improving our biosecurity, and enhancing our resilience to harmful organisms;
+ Our land and water – research to enhance primary-sector production and productivity while maintaining and improving our land and water quality for future generations;
+ Life in a changing ocean – understanding how we can exploit our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints;
+ The deep south – understanding the role of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean in determining our climate and our future environment;
+ Science for technological innovation – enhancing the capacity of New Zealand to use physical and engineering sciences for economic growth;
+ Resilience to nature’s challenges – research into enhancing our resilience to natural disasters.