Catalyst: Strategic – New Zealand-DLR Joint Research Programme December 2020

MBIE intends to commit NZD$1,125,000 in 2021 to support feasibility studies projects with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in the areas of propulsion, space communications, and Synthetic Aperture Radar technologies.

This investment will:

  • support and encourage the development and exchange of scientific strengths and capabilities within each country, and
  • will enable our countries to benefit from each other’s global connections to develop cutting edge science.

About this programme

We expect to fund up to 15 projects with NZD$75,000 (excl. GST) available per successful project.

The Call Aims to:

  • lead to long-lasting partnerships between DLR research institutes and NZ research capabilities
  • lead to the creation of new and world-leading knowledge in propulsion, space communication and SAR technologies
  • advance the development of dynamic and world-class propulsion, space communication and SAR technologies
  • develop scientific capability for both countries to address major challenges for the economy, environment and society
  • support and encourage the development and exchange of scientific strengths and capabilities within New Zealand and DLR, and allow each country to benefit from each other’s global connections to cutting edge science
  • build successful collaboration models that ensure maximum synergy in research and development across teams and countries
  • identify pathways for spill over benefits and knowledge diffusion across New Zealand’s science and innovation systems
  • establish platforms for possible larger-scale future research collaborations.

What should the feasibility study encompass?

We are funding feasibility studies for advancing the state of the art in one of the three thematic technology areas:

  • Propulsion
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Optical Communications

 These feasibility studies will cover, but are not limited to the below headings:

A Literature review – A review of the current state of the art for the chosen area of research, encompassing technology trends and addressing those of the end application/user. The literature review should be comprehensive and lead to the identification of the key technology gaps.

Knowledge gap identification– Based on the literature review this will define the value proposition of the research. It will lock in the key areas of research and what will remain inside the scope.

Expected/preliminary methodology used to address this knowledge gap – This methodology will look into the research pathway and the scientific process that underpins the joint research.

Resources required to perform the work and allocation – What physical, human and financial resources will be needed to perform research into the identified knowledge gap area?

Barriers to success – Are there any factors that you envisage at an early stage that you may have to mitigate in order to be successful?

Potential interfaces with other DLR/NZ collaborations – Are there any other collaborations that will likely interface with or use your technology going forward?

Timing – What does the timeline look like from here and will the resource be needed at each stage?

Eligibility Criteria

This Call is for joint submissions that involve at least one New Zealand Research Organisation (RO) and one DLR institute. For New Zealand organisations, applications will be open to both public and private New Zealand-based research organisations. However, proposals should clearly indicate how the research will provide a public science return and benefit New Zealand’s science and innovation system as a whole.

On the German side, applications will be open to any DLR researcher.

For a proposal to be assessed under this investment, it must meet the eligibility criteria. Proposals that fail to meet this criteria will be declined for funding on eligibility grounds, as determined by MBIE and DLR. The following eligibility criteria will also apply:

  • each proposal must be jointly prepared as one application, with at least one New Zealand RO and one DLR institute and submitted by the New Zealand partner.
  • the German research partner must be employed by the DLR
  • each proposal must include a budget identifying the funding sought by the New Zealand RO from this Call as well as any other funding or in-kind contributions. Direct research costs and overall resource contributions (including in-kind) from each country should be approximately equivalent.
  • must include a budget identifying all contributions. Direct research costs and overall resource contributions (including in-kind) from each country should be approximately equivalent.
  • all proposals must have intellectual property, data management and project risk plans.
  • proposals must be uploaded before 12 noon (NZ time) on the due date via the MBIE Portal(external link) and meet the administrative requirements of MBIE. The New Zealand-based project team will submit a joint proposal on behalf of all research team members (including DLR partners) via the MBIE Portal.
  • applicants must not submit multiple applications to this investment based on the same project, where the only difference is in the duration of the proposed project, the amount of funding sought or the international collaborators involved. Should the same New Zealand research team decide to submit more than one proposal, they must demonstrate significant differences between those proposals.
  • If a New Zealand research team submits multiple proposals based on the same project, all proposals for that project may be deemed ineligible.

Upload proposals using the MBIE investment management system portal(external link)

Key dates  
1 December 2020 IMS portal opens for proposals
12 noon, 18th January 2021 Closing date for proposals
8 February 2021 Investment funding decision(s) announced
1st March 2021 Contracts expected to begin
15th July 2021 Deadline feasibility Study