The Budget 2023 funding package includes the Government’s largest ever capital investment in science infrastructure, support for New Zealand’s participation in the world’s largest research and innovation programme Horizon Europe, and funding to retain and develop more than 260 future leaders of research, science and innovation over the next 10 years.
Wellington Science City is part of the Government’s Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways science system reforms and aims to transform the region into a vibrant centre of research, science and innovation by 2030.
This initiative comprises the development of a:
- Health and Wellbeing Corridor, including a new Pandemic Research and Response Institute, from Kelburn to Newtown
- National Centre for Research on Oceans, Climate and Hazards at Greta Point
- Research, Technology, and Innovation park at Gracefield in Lower Hutt.
The creation of these 3 multi-institution research hubs will bring scientists closer together to increase collaboration, ensure better use of expensive equipment and facilities, and position New Zealand to meet complex challenges.
Wellington Science City will build on the region’s strengths and aims to help start-ups grow to become significant contributors to the New Zealand economy through stronger coordination of innovation and commercialisation activities. This will include significant investment in physical space and facilities to help entrepreneurs bring innovative new products to market.
Budget 2023 also includes $37.6 million in new funding for New’s Zealand’s participation in Horizon Europe over 4 years. This is the European Union’s main research and innovation and funding programme.
Aotearoa New Zealand will be one of the first non-European countries to offer its researchers access to the €95 billion (NZD$160 billion) Horizon Europe programme on equal terms as European researchers.
New Zealand is on track to associate to Pillar 2 of this programme by mid-2023 and New Zealand researchers have already been able to submit proposals under a transitional arrangement agreed between New Zealand and the European Commission.
Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe, focuses on science and technologies that address major global challenges, such as:
- climate change
- energy and health
- the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Association to Pillar 2 will help to grow our global connectivity – a key objective of the Te Ara Paerangi - Future Pathways science system reforms
Valuing our people is a key area of reform under Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways. Through Budget 2023, $55.2 million has been allocated to expand research fellowships and introduce applied doctorates with a focus on attracting, retaining and developing future research leaders.
The expanded fellowships will include dedicated awards for Māori and Pacific Peoples to increase representation at all levels. The schemes will support researchers at different career stages (early, mid and late), strengthening meaningful pathways through the system and ensuring that research fellowships are fit for the future science system. However, they will have a strong focus on supporting early career researchers and ensuring that researchers in the early stages of their careers have the time and resources needed to develop their ideas and leadership skills.
The introduction of applied doctorates aims to better prepare researchers for the wide range of careers outside of academia, such as in:
- iwi organisations
- local councils
- crown research institutes (CRIs).
Training doctoral students in both academic and applied skills will help develop a workforce that can turn research into meaningful impact to boost our economy and improve the lives of everyday New Zealanders. The applied doctorate programme will make research and skills more accessible to a greater range of businesses and other organisations and provide a richer range of career options for New Zealand’s talented emerging research workforce.