National Research Information System (NRIS)

Below is an overview of the National Research Information System (NRIS). For detailed information, see NRIS in detail.


NRIS is an information hub where people can easily find information about research, science and innovation in New Zealand.

NRIS will help people answer questions such as:

  • What projects are underway?
  • Who is working on them?
  • Who is an expert I can contact on a particular topic?
  • What are they working on?
  • How much is being spent on a particular area?
  • Which areas need additional resources and support?


At the moment, finding information about research or researchers can involve a lot of work for incomplete results. NRIS will provide a comprehensive single source for New Zealand research, science and innovation information.

NRIS will open up data on the research, science and innovation sector, simplify administration for researchers and research organisations, and improve the quality of data. This helps researchers focus on their work, fosters innovation and enables funders to make smart investments.

Creating NRIS is a key action in the 2016 Research, Science and Innovation Domain Plan [PDF 1.2MB], which identifies information needs and a data improvement plan.

National research information systems have been implemented in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Belgium and Portugal.

Finland and the UK are also developing national systems. The Research Councils UK Gateway to Research has information about funded research and, while not a full national system, gives an idea of the type of information we intend to hold in the New Zealand NRIS.


Benefits of a National Research Information System include:

  • Getting a better picture of what research, science and innovation is happening
  • Making it easier to find experts and partners
  • Helping to develop new products and services
  • Greater exposure of New Zealand work
  • Reducing the reporting burden
  • Reducing duplication of activities
  • Better understanding of the sector
  • Making smarter decisions and investments


How will NRIS work?

NRIS will initially contain information about research, science and innovation funded wholly, or in part, by government.

NRIS will have data on funding decisions and research from MBIE and other government departments, Callaghan Innovation, the Health Research Council (HRC), Royal Society Te Apārangi, Crown Research Institutes and universities.

Other research institutions such as independent research organisations will also be invited to participate.

NRIS will receive data from organisations. Some data is open data and some is protected data.

All data within NRIS will be held securely and access will be managed so that open data is readily available and data that needs protection is kept confidential.

Development of NRIS

NRIS is being co-designed with the research sector.

Our first step has been working with the sector on what data is needed for NRIS and to define common data standards so organisations can share data easily from a variety of systems.

We have started building the IT infrastructure for NRIS and are using data held by MBIE to test how the concept model works in practice.

MBIE is developing NRIS further through talking to research organisations about their capacity and timelines for integrating data. We will work with data holders as they are ready.

New data will be progressively added to NRIS. NRIS is expected to be operational in 2019 with data from MBIE, the HRC and Royal Society. Over the next five years, we expect all major suppliers of data to be progressively integrated. As part of this process, we will help organisations meet data collection and quality standards.


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Contact us

For all enquiries related to the NRIS, email