Catalyst: Strategic – New Zealand-Singapore Data Science Research Programme

MBIE has announced 4 successful proposals for an $11 million investment in data science with Singapore.

Under the Government-wide New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) has established a jointly-funded Data Science Research Programme with the Singapore Data Science Consortium (SDSC), on behalf of the National Research Foundation of Singapore.

New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership(external link)

Singapore Data Science Consortium(external link)

National Research Foundation(external link)

The Programme has been co-developed to:

  • support and encourage the development and exchange of scientific strengths and capabilities between both countries’ research communities; and
  • catalyse benefits from each other’s global connections to cutting edge science.

The Catalyst: Strategic – New Zealand-Singapore Data Science Research Programme complements the domestic Strategic Science Investment Fund Data Science platform. The 2 investments aim to advance the development of a dynamic and world class data science capability for New Zealand through multidisciplinary, use-inspired data science research programmes that address big challenges for the economy, environment, and society.

The New Zealand research teams were able to apply for up to $3 million over three years, with the Singapore research partners eligible for approximately equivalent funding. Based on the independent recommendations of a combined panel of international and domestic experts, MBIE and the SDSC jointly selected four proposals which centred on a fundamental technical problem or challenge and had a novel technical application in data science, across the mutual priority areas of health, natural language processing, and 3D temporal-spatial sensing of the environment. We received 23 proposals in total from a wide variety of collaborating research organisations, showing a promising foundation for future initiatives. The New Zealand investment totals about $10.8 million (excluding GST) over 3 years.

Funded projects

Lead NZ organisation Project title
The University of Auckland Advanced Graph Analytics for Human Brain Connectivity
Massey University Natural Language Processing for Q&A in Indigenous/Vernacular Languages
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Bridging the gap between remote sensing and tree modelling with data science
Auckland University of Technology Computational neuro-genetic modelling for diagnosis and prognosis in mental health

Together with the Catalyst: Strategic – NZ-Singapore Future Foods Research Programme, these funding commitments are New Zealand’s largest ever single investment in a bilateral science partnership with another country. The successful projects will help lead to the creation of new and world-leading knowledge and contribute to the overarching objective of accelerating the development of data science and future foods capabilities in both Singapore and New Zealand.

Catalyst: Strategic is one of the 4 funding streams within the Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund supports activities that initiate, develop and foster collaborations building on international science and innovation for New Zealand’s benefit.

Public statements of funded projects

Important dates

Date Activity
October 2020 Projects begin
December 2023 Projects conclude

Contact us

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Last updated: 10 August 2021