Funding Curiosity, Unlocking Potential across Aotearoa New Zealand

Published: 07 December 2022

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today announced the 12 recipients of the 2023 round of Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund.

The Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund encourages quality science and technology education projects that reach and inspire New Zealanders that have less opportunity to learn and engage with science and technology.

“The applications this year were exceptional and exciting, with many choosing to lead the way into a sustainable, environmentally friendly future,” says Dr Kate Calcott, Manager Specialised Investments at MBIE.

“I’d also like to acknowledge how these projects are increasing the visibility of mātauranga Māori – building the cross-cultural knowledge and competency of our nation is crucial.

“I congratulate all recipients, and I look forward to the monumental influence these projects have on our future generations.”

The funded projects from the 2023 round of Unlocking Curious Minds are:

 Project Title Organisation
Soilsafe Kids: Connecting school children and community through diverse soil knowledges University of Auckland
Smokefree Science Showcase - The STE(A)M behind the smoke (& mirrors) Otago Museum Trust Board
Air We Share: Empowering children and communities to reduce airborne infection risk National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited
Pūtaiao mō te Ao Tūroa - The Science of Nature II Whenua Iti Trust - Trading as Whenua Iti Outdoors
Moanamana - Building NZL's Blue Belt Boat & Beach Wise Trust
Exploring the role of micro-wetlands in building localised climate change resilience. EcoQuest Education Foundation
Student-led detection of invasive species in our marine environment via molecular surveillance Otamarua Bush and Boat Limited - Trading as Sails for Science
Fungal taonga and traditional uses – students welcomed to national collections and labs Landcare Research New Zealand Limited - Trading as Manaaki Whenua
Te ohomauri o Wairere. The empowering life force of Wairere University of Waikato
Weaving a pathway to programming through pūrakau tīpuna University of Canterbury
Patua te Tukumate Rāwaho (Myrtle Rust Busters) New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited - Trading as Scion
Tūhura Papatūānuku: a noho-marae based earth and environmental sciences wānanga Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited - Trading as GNS Science

More information on the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund can be found here:

Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund

MBIE media contact