Regional Research Institutes Initiative

The Regional Research Institute (RRI) initiative established new, independently governed, private or private not-for-profit regional research institutes.

The RRI initiative's aims

Established in 2015, the aims of the regional research institute (RRI) government initiative were to:

  • benefit regions outside the main population centres (Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch)
  • support and further enhance regional advantage in New Zealand by stimulating leading edge, industrially exploitable and commercially focused research.

The government policy areas driving the RRI initiative were:

  • deepening our knowledge-based capital, and widening its impact, is critical for growth
  • directing knowledge-based capital into the regions can improve their competitiveness
  • industry-led institutes can meet unique needs and lift business innovation in regions.

The funding

The Government committed up to $25 million over 3 years in 2015 to establish the RRI programme.

In Budget 2016, the Government provided an additional $40 million to support the initiative, bringing the total funding to $65 million.

The institutes funded

Between 2016 and 2017, the institutes selected for funding by the RRI initiative were:

  • The Centre for Space Science Technology based in Alexandra (now known as Xerra Earth Observation Institute)
  • The New Zealand Research Institute of Viticulture and Oenology (now known as The Bragato Research Institute) based in Marlborough
  • The New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research based in Greymouth
  • The New Zealand Institute for Technology and Innovation in Premium Plant-based Value Chains (now known as PlantTech Research Institute) based in Tauranga.

The RRI initiative was modelled on Nelson’s successful Cawthron Institute. A NZIER report showed the Cawthron Institute had contributed $14 million in added value to the local economy and indirectly created 91 jobs in Nelson.

Programme now closed

The RRI programme is closed and no further Calls for Proposals will be issued.

In this section

RRI background

In Budget 2015, the Government committed up to $25 million over 3 years to support the establishment of new privately-led Regional Research Institutes.

Xerra Earth Observation Institute

The Xerra Earth Observation Institute has funding of $14.7 million under the Regional Research Institute initiative.

Bragato Research Institute

The Bragato Research Institute has funding of up to $12.5 million excluding GST. Below is the public statement from MBIE’s contract with the Bragato Research Institute.

New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research

The New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research has funding of up to $11 million excluding GST. Below is the public statement from our contract with the New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Material Research.

PlantTech Research Institute

PlantTech Research Institute has funding of $8.425 million excluding GST. Below is the public statement from our contract with PlantTech Research Institute.

RRI Performance Framework

We monitor the progress and performance of Regional Research Institutes (RRIs) against a Performance Framework.