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.

About this opportunity

New Zealand researchers are invited to work with partners from at least 2 of the other e-ASIA participating countries to submit a joint research proposal in the field of alternative energy. The aim is to strengthen collaboration among researchers of the participating countries and to solve issues common across the region, in the field of alternative energy specifically the topics of:

  • Renewable energy
  • Energy storage, and
  • Energy management systems.

More details of the specific topics are available in the call for proposals section of the e-ASIA website.

Call for proposals(external link) — e-ASIA

Proposals for joint research projects should achieve excellence beyond what has already been achieved within New Zealand.

The funding available

The total funding available is NZ$1.2 million (excluding GST) to support up to 3 projects for New Zealand research teams, at NZ$400,000 each for a period of up to 3 years. New Zealand research teams must be part of an e-ASIA project consortium with research teams from at least 2 other countries participating in the call (Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines).

Partner agencies will provide similar levels of support to their own countries’ successful research teams.

How funding can be used

What is fundable

Research funding from New Zealand can only be used to fund New Zealand researchers’ activities and reasonable expenses directly related to the project including:

Research activity expenses for:

  • consumables and other research expenses
  • personnel
  • subcontractors.

Research exchange expenses for:

  • flights/transport
  • accommodation
  • travel visas and travel insurance
  • meals.

Travel costs should not exceed 25% of the budget and all expenditure by individuals should adhere to the rules of the organisation they are affiliated with.

What is not fundable

The research funding must not be used for:

  • expenses unrelated to the delivery of the contract
  • any capital expenditure (unless otherwise agreed in writing with MBIE)
  • dealing with accidents or disasters during the term of the contract
  • alcohol

Who can apply

For a proposal to be assessed it must meet the eligibility criteria set out below. Proposals that do not meet all of these criteria will be declined for funding on eligibility grounds.

  • A project consortium must include a research team from New Zealand and research teams from at least 2 different countries’ Member Organisations (MOs) who are participating in the alternative energy call. This will be confirmed through the e-ASIA secretariat.
  • The proposal must be made by a New Zealand-based research organisation or a New Zealand-based legal entity representing a New Zealand-based research organisation.
  • Proposals must be in the field of Alternative Energy, within the sub-topics of Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, and Energy Management Systems as further defined in the Call for proposals released by e-ASIA (see Key documents).
  • The Primary Investigator named on the New Zealand application must be employed by a New Zealand-based research organisation, or a New Zealand-based legal entity representing a New Zealand-based research organisation.
  • The proposal must not be made by a department of the public service as listed in Schedule 2 of the Public Service Act 2020.
  • Proposals must not benefit a Russian state institution (including but not limited to support for Russian military or security activity) or an organisation outside government that may be perceived as contributing to the war effort.
  • Proposals must be submitted in Pītau – our investment management portal before the closing date.

This funding opportunity is open to both public and private research organisations. A research organisation is an organisation that has internal capability for carrying out research, science or technology, or related activities.

Application information

A project consortium must be made up of project teams from at least 3 different countries from e-ASIA members participating in the call. Each country’s project team must apply for funding in their own country and a consortium must also submit a joint application to the e-ASIA secretariat.

New Zealand project teams applying to MBIE for funding

New Zealand applicants need to submit an application in Pītau – MBIE’s investment management system by noon, Tuesday 2 April 2024. If you do not have a Pītau login, you will need to request access (request access at least 1 week before you want to submit your proposal).

Pītau Investment Management System Portal

A proposal template is provided in the key documents section of this call for proposals.

  1. Before developing your proposal, you are encouraged to consider the eligibility criteria, the assessment criteria, and the terms and conditions relating to this opportunity.
  2. The proposal template provides guidance on how to prepare your proposal and the information you are required to provide. We recommend you use the proposal template provided to draft the required information in a word processer and then when ready to submit, copy and paste your content into the appropriate Pītau fields and upload any supporting documentation where directed.
  3. The information in your proposal is used for assessment and will form the basis of your contract if your application is successful.

Project consortium application process to the e-ASIA Secretariat

A joint proposal on behalf of the consortium must also be submitted to the e-ASIA Secretariat. This application will use the e-ASIA Secretariat template. Application details will be published here:

e-ASIA website(external link)

Each individual project research team must be led by a Principal Investigator (PI). Each consortium must appoint and be led by a Lead Principal Investigator (Lead PI), selected among the PIs. The Lead PI will submit the proposal on behalf of the consortium to the e-ASIA Secretariat.

Key documents

When developing your proposal, we encourage you to consult the following key reference documents:

Key dates

Activity Date
Portal opens for proposal submission 7 February 2024
Assessor names published on web pages By Thursday 14 March 2024
e-ASIA proposal submission (by lead PI) period closes 29 March 2024
MBIE proposal submission period closes 12 noon, Tuesday 2 April 2024
MBIE checks proposals against eligibility criteria and assigns to assessors Early April 2024
Assessment of proposals by the assessment panel members April-May 2024
Assessment panel meeting June 2024
Manager – International Science Partnerships endorses ranking of New Zealand proposals June/July 2024
Joint assessment panel meetings with participating e-ASIA members August/September 2024
Investment funding decisions announced Late 2024
Contract preparation Late 2024
Contracts begin Early 2025

All dates and times are NZ standard times and are subject to change. To be notified of any changes subscribe to our Alert e-newsletter.

Subscribe here(external link)

Note that submission deadlines for partner organisations will vary.

Assessment information

Once you’ve submitted your proposal, this is the assessment process:

  1. MBIE reviews applications to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Independent assessors review the proposals against the Catalyst Strategic Fund assessment criteria and, where relevant, the Vision Mātauranga Policy. Assessor scores and comments are entered into Pītau.
    Vision Mātauranga Policy(external link)
  3. Assessors attend a panel meeting where the preliminary scores and comments are reviewed, scored, and ranked. The panel reach a consensus and create a ranked list of proposals, feedback comments, and recommendations which will inform a report from the panel chair.
  4. The Manager – International Science Partnerships endorses the panel chair report and which proposals progress to the e-ASIA decision making process.
  5. MBIE (International Science Partnerships) participates in an e-ASIA joint review meeting with other participant countries to compare ranked lists of proposals, and reach consensus on final recommendations for funding.
  6. The ranked list from the e-ASIA joint review meeting and funding recommendations for proposals involving New Zealand research organisations will be presented to the Manager – International Science Partnerships for final funding approval from MBIE.
  7. The e-ASIA program secretariat submits the final mutually agreed proposal list to the board, who will formally approve the project(s) based on the review meeting’s recommendation.
  8. Outcomes will be announced on the Catalyst Fund part of the MBIE website, once the e-ASIA board and Manager, international Science Partnerships has confirmed the projects to be funded.
  9. MBIE will notify applicants of the final funding decision and provide general feedback to all applicants on request.

Conflicts of Interest

If you are submitting a proposal, check the list of assessors for any potential conflicts of interest. If you identify an actual, potential, or perceived direct or indirect conflict of interest, you must notify us before the application closing date by emailing the details for further discussion to: 


You must also notify us if you identify an actual, potential, or perceived direct or indirect conflict of interest, after the application closing date and before the final funding decision date.

Conflicts of interest may occur on 2 different levels:

  • A direct conflict of interest, where an assessor is:
    • directly involved with a proposal (as a participant, manager, mentor, or partner) or has a close personal relationship with the applicant, for example, family members
    • a collaborator or in some other way involved with an applicant’s proposal.
  • An indirect conflict of interest, where an assessor:
    • is employed by an organisation involved in a proposal but is not part of the applicant’s proposal
    • has a personal and/or professional relationship with one of the applicants, e.g., an acquaintance
    • is assessing a proposal under discussion that may compete with their business interests.


The assessment criteria

Assessors will assess proposals on each of the criteria (below) and them score them from 1 (low quality) to 7 (high quality).

Excellence: 40% weighting

Will the activity lead to the creation of new knowledge through high quality research?

The assessors will consider to what extent the proposal:

  • will lead to the creation of new knowledge which is of the highest calibre, and that will have national and international scientific impact and recognition
  • utilises applicable scientific and technological principles, including a well-designed research plan and a credible approach to managing risk, that will enable delivery of the proposed research aims
  • is ambitious in terms of scientific risk, novelty and/or innovative approaches, and leverages state-of the-art knowledge and facilities
  • is led by world-class science leaders or potential future leaders, with the skills, knowledge and resources to deliver the proposed activities and to manage risk
  • explains the science and innovation opportunities and contributions of Māori knowledge, people and resources for the benefit of all New Zealand.

Connections: 30% weighting

Will the proposed activity establish an enduring collaboration between and within New Zealand and e-ASIA collaborating organisations?

The assessors will consider to what extent:

  • the New Zealand research team and its proposed international partners have excellent track records of collaborating with other institutions and delivering research results
  • the proposed partners offer highly complementary, world-class expertise, knowledge, capabilities and resources, building a high-performing and connected research team
  • the research team and its partner have outstanding capabilities and capacity to build and manage a substantive international partnership and fully realise the stated international opportunities
  • the research team and its partners have outstanding and comprehensive capabilities including scientific and other resourcing, and supporting infrastructure, to deliver the proposed activities
  • the proposed project will give effect to Vision Mātauranga policy, creating connections with and for Māori in a genuine and meaningful way.

Impact: 30% weighting

Will the project deliver benefit aligned to the wider economic, social and environmental goals of New Zealand?

The assessors will consider to what extent:

  • the proposal has a strong line of sight to expected benefits that are of national and global significance, where the analysis supporting the estimates of benefits and uncertainty is excellent
  • the New Zealand and international partners have excellent records of engagement with end-users, with the potential to bring together New Zealand research capabilities
  • the proposal identifies opportunities and needs that are important/relevant to New Zealand and connected to multiple end-users or end-user research sectors
  • the project has potential to support a pipeline of research/knowledge transfer within the wider science systems to build long-term capability and enable the development of new ideas/applications
  • the proposed research gives effect to Vision Mātauranga policy, including benefits to Māori (iwi, communities/groups, and/or businesses).

Notes about assessment

You are expected to outline out how your proposal will deliver against these objectives.

When reviewing your proposal under each criterion, the assessment panel will consider whether the proposed project plan, including the incorporation of Vision Mātauranga Policy, contains all of the elements that would be expected from a research proposal.

Funding decisions

The Manager, International Science Partnerships at MBIE will make final funding decisions on which New Zealand projects will be funded (see full assessment process above).

The decision and recommendations may also:

  • set pre-contract conditions which must be met before the investment is contracted
  • set special conditions in addition to the general terms and conditions set out in the Funding Contract
  • vary the proposed term of a proposal
  • vary the funding allocated from what is proposed and require critical performance indicators to be renegotiated to MBIE’s satisfaction to reflect the changed funding.

We will advise the successful proposal's contact person of the funding decision by email. The funding decision will be announced by press release and published on MBIE's website.

Contracting, reporting, and monitoring


Successful applicants will enter into a funding contract with MBIE subject to any special conditions being met. The funding contract is expected to be signed and returned to us within 2 weeks. Please check the funding contract template in the key documents section. 


The contract holder must manage the approved funding to ensure delivery of the contracted project. Subject to specific contract conditions, funding will be provided in equal, 6-monthly instalments, with the first instalment paid on signing the contract.

Reporting and monitoring

Successful applicants will be required to submit 2 annual reports and a final report within one month of the project completion.

Annual and final reporting will be written reports, submitted in Pītau. Reports will include information on:

  • progress against KPIs (specific KPIs will be agreed at the time of contracting)
  • financial performance
  • risks.
Last updated: 14 March 2024