The Partnerships Scheme supports high-quality research aimed at increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of New Zealand’s economy.

It strengthens ties between research organisations and research users, particularly industry, by supporting them to establish a long-term research programme. Partnership members determine the research they will undertake, so the research is driven by an industry or sector’s needs.

Partnerships focuses on longer term research that supports a whole sector rather than just a single firm or organisation. This reflects the rationale for Government investment where research timeframes and outcomes may be too uncertain for full investment by private investors, but where the rates of social return are potentially very high.

This Government has a strong desire to diversify the portfolio of research, science and innovation investments. In 2018, Partnerships will only fund highly innovative research with potentially transformational impacts that contribute to sustainable economic development through:

  • Growing emerging, high-tech, knowledge intensive sectors
  • Developing technologies that radically improve resource efficiency, or reduce environmental impact of (or render obsolete) an existing resource use
  • Transitioning to a low emissions economy by 2050
  • Ensuring a rich and protected environment.

What funding is available?

It is anticipated that about $3.7 million per year of Partnerships funding will be invested in this investment round, committing up to $25.9 million over the next seven years.

Funds have been made available for a 2018 investment round only for Partnerships. Following this round, the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation will consider how to invest future funding to support a wide range of sectors and contribute to the Government’s priority areas.

Who can apply?

Partnerships must include at least two sector partners or a sector representative body and at least one research organisation. Applicants can be an industry or a research organisation or an entity specifically set up to represent and manage the partnership. MBIE will only enter into an Investment Contract with a New Zealand based legal entity.

Eligibility criteria are set out in the Partnerships Gazette Notice number 2018-go1947.  See the Partnerships Scheme Call for Proposals [PDF 1.2MB] for full application details.

Funding decisions

The Science Board makes the investment decision(s) in accordance with the New Zealand Gazette Notice, number 2018-go1947.

In deciding which proposals to fund, the Science Board considers the eligibility and assessment criteria and other considerations in the Gazette Notice, which includes:

  • the Public Finance Act 1989 and the relevant appropriation Acts for Vote Business, Science and Innovation; and
  • the current Partnerships Investment Plan [PDF 300KB] published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.