Strategic Science Investment Fund

The Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF) supports underpinning research programmes and infrastructure of enduring importance to New Zealand.

The SSIF is a major lever to deliver on the vision of the National Statement of Science Investment - a better-performing science system that is larger, more agile and more responsive, investing effectively for long-term impact.

The fund provides a mechanism for MBIE to initiate, evaluate and compare for effectiveness a range of different strategic science investments.

Budget 2016 brought a number of investments into the new SSIF and announced additional funding of $63 million over four years for the SSIF. An extra $40.5 million was committed in Budget 2017. In 2017/18, the SSIF is worth over $260 million per year.

The SSIF has two components:

  • Programmes – research that underpins strategic priorities and is critical to the future of New Zealand’s wellbeing, economy and environment. Note that this mechanism replaces CRI core funding and independent research organisation capability funding.
  • Infrastructure – access to and development of larger-scale research infrastructure that supports enduring priorities and ensures a high-performing science system. Note that existing MBIE-managed infrastructure investments will fall under SSIF in future.

SSIF Investment Plan

The SSIF Investment Plan provides the strategic context and sets out investment principles, rationale and signals for the Fund.

An updated Investment Plan was released in August 2017 to provide for new funding including:

  • $21 million over seven years for the Research Education and Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) to support specialist services and activities that enable data-intensive research and high-performance science applications,
  • $19.5 million over four years to support natural hazards research and improve our ability to monitor hazards on a 24/7 basis, and
  • $21 million over three years to support an Antarctic Research Platform that will explore the unique environment of Antarctica. Read the Antarctic Science Platform Question and Answers.

Download the Strategic Science Investment Fund Investment Plan 2017-2024 [PDF 787KB]

What does the SSIF incorporate?

The SSIF is a new approach to strategic science investment that incorporates a range of research programmes and infrastructure. Some of these transitioned into the SSIF following its launch. Government will update its investments periodically. The SSIF investments are listed below.

Programmes component

  • CRI platforms in a range of research areas including freshwater, nuclear science and agri-food
  • Independent Research Organisation (IRO) research platforms

Infrastructure component


CRI core funding review

MBIE reviewed CRI core funding in 2015-16, and the findings of the review have helped to inform the development of the SSIF. From 2017, Government is investing in CRI-based research platforms via the SSIF.

Read the review report [PDF 711KB].