National Science Challenges

The National Science Challenges are designed to take a more strategic approach to the government's science investment by targeting a series of goals, which, if achieved, would have major and enduring benefits for New Zealand.

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The 11 National Science Challenges focus science investment on issues that matter to all New Zealanders. The National Science Challenges are cross-disciplinary, mission-led programmes designed to tackle New Zealand’s biggest science-based challenges. They require collaboration between researchers from universities and other academic institutions, Crown Research Institutes, businesses and non-government organisations to achieve their objectives.


The Government has allocated funding of $326.4 million over ten years for the National Science Challenges. In total almost $1.6 billion of funding will be invested in the National Science Challenges, which includes new funding, funding from some contestable contracts managed by MBIE, relevant CRI funding, and relevant funding from the Health Research Council.