The Partnerships Scheme

The Partnerships Scheme supports high-quality research aimed at increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of New Zealand’s economy.

The purpose of the Partnership Scheme

The Partnership Scheme (Partnerships) strengthens ties between research organisations and research users, particularly industry, by supporting them to establish a long-term research programme. Partnership members determine the research they will undertake, so the research is driven by an industry or sector’s needs.

Partnerships focuses on longer-term research that supports a whole sector rather than just a single firm or organisation. This reflects the rationale for government investment where research timeframes and outcomes may be too uncertain for full investment by private investors, but where the rates of social return are potentially very high.

This Government has a strong desire to diversify the portfolio of research, science and innovation investments. In 2018, Partnerships will only fund highly innovative research with potentially transformational impacts that contribute to sustainable economic development through:

  • growing emerging, high-tech, knowledge intensive sectors
  • developing technologies that radically improve resource efficiency, or reduce environmental impact of (or render obsolete) an existing resource use
  • transitioning to a low emissions economy by 2050
  • ensuring a rich and protected environment.

The funding available

It is anticipated that about $3.7 million per year of Partnerships funding will be invested in this investment round, committing up to $25.9 million over the next 7 years.

Funds have been made available for a 2018 investment round only for Partnerships. Following this round, the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation will consider how to invest future funding to support a wide range of sectors and contribute to the Government’s priority areas.

Who can apply

Partnerships must include at least 2 sector partners or a sector representative body and at least 1 research organisation.

Applicants can be an industry or a research organisation or an entity specifically set up to represent and manage the partnership. We will only enter into an Investment Contract with a New Zealand-based legal entity.

Eligibility criteria are set out in the Partnerships Gazette Notice number 2018 (Gazette Notice).

Partnerships Gazette Notice number 2018-go1947(external link) 

See the Partnerships Scheme Call for Proposals for full application details.

Partnerships Scheme Call for Proposals [PDF, 1.2 MB] 

Funding decisions

The Science Board makes the investment decision(s) in accordance with the Gazette Notice.

Partnerships Gazette Notice number 2018-go1947(external link) 

In deciding which proposals to fund, the Science Board considers the eligibility and assessment criteria and other considerations in the Gazette Notice, which includes:

  • the Public Finance Act 1989 and the relevant appropriation Acts for Vote Business, Science and Innovation
  • the current Partnerships Investment Plan published by us.

Partnerships Investment Plan [PDF, 300 KB]

In this section

Application and assessment information

How to apply for funding through the Research Partnerships Fund and how applications are assessed.

Successful 2018 proposals

MBIE's 2018 Partnerships Investment Round will see four new sector-led research partnerships receive funding of up to $14.4 million over the next seven years. The scheme has a focus on longer term, innovative research with potential for transformative impact.

List of Assessors

A group of independent Assessors appointed by MBIE assessed eligible 2018 Partnerships proposals and advised us on which proposals to fund.