Catalyst Fund

The Catalyst Fund supports activities that initiate, develop and foster collaborations which take advantage of international science and innovation for New Zealand’s benefit.

International science and innovation connectivity is a key contributor to achieving the vision of the National Statement of Science Investment, providing an opportunity to drive increasing excellence and the potential for impact of New Zealand science.

National Statement of Science Investment

Catalyst fund outcomes

The Catalyst Fund outcomes include:

  • Targeted international partnerships maximise the impact and quality of New Zealand science and innovation.
  • Emerging international science cooperation opportunities are pursued and advanced to deliver benefits to New Zealand.
  • International science and innovation is leveraged in key areas, delivering benefit to New Zealand at a faster pace, of better quality, or of greater impact than can otherwise be achieved.

Catalyst funding streams

The Catalyst Fund consists of 4 funding streams:

  • Catalyst: Strategic
  • Catalyst: Influence
  • Catalyst: Leaders
  • Catalyst: Seeding

Some of these funding streams are devolved to the Royal Society Te Apārangi and the Health Research Council and administered under an MBIE funding agreement. 

Royal Society Te Apārangi(external link)

Health Research Council(external link)

Catalyst Strategic

Catalyst Strategic funds strategic research and large-scale pre-research collaborations with priority partners and in targeted areas that cannot be supported through other means. This fund is administered by MBIE. 


  • To leverage international research and infrastructure capabilities in areas posing significant science-based challenges to New Zealand and our international partners.
  • To profile New Zealand science and innovation, and our ability to contribute to global science challenges.

Catalyst Influence

Catalyst Influence supports New Zealand science sector participation in and membership of key international science fora and targeted engagement that cannot be supported through other means. 


  • To influence the directions of global and international research agendas to better align with New Zealand needs.
  • To increase the profile of New Zealand science and innovation, and our ability to contribute to global science challenges.

Catalyst Leaders

Catalyst Leaders supports incoming and outgoing targeted international fellowships for exceptional individuals that cannot be supported through other means. 


  • To promote the importance of international cooperation in science and New Zealand’s science and innovation capabilities.
  • To catalyse science and innovation through placement of international experts in key science and innovation hubs, to meet specific capability needs for New Zealand benefit.

Catalyst Seeding

The Catalyst Seeding Fund supports new small and medium pre-research strategic partnerships that cannot be supported through other means, and with a view to developing full collaborations that could be supported through Catalyst Strategic.


  • To enhance knowledge creation in New Zealand by linking with world-class international research groups, infrastructure and initiatives.
  • To create enduring international science partnerships for New Zealand by providing multiple scale pre-research collaboration and a line of sight through to Catalyst Strategic.

Contact us 

For more information, email:

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In this section

New Zealand-China Strategic Research Alliance 2024 Call for Proposals

We are inviting proposals for joint research partnerships between New Zealand and Chinese research organisations.

New Zealand–China Strategic Research Alliance 2023

Applications have now closed and we expect to announce successful proposals in 2024.

e-ASIA Joint Research Programme Call for Proposals 2024

We are inviting proposals in the field of alternative energy for the e-ASIA Joint Research Programme which includes funding agencies from Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Last updated: 26 April 2023