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 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
In Budget 2015, the Government committed up to $25 million over 3 years to support the establishment of new privately-led Regional Research Institutes.
The Xerra Earth Observation Institute (formerly known as the Centre for Space Science Technology) is contracted by MBIE for $21.7 million excluding GST to establish, build and support a research institute with a focus on earth observation data.
Bragato Research Institute are contracted by MBIE for $17.5 million excluding GST to transform the New Zealand grape and wine industry through research, innovation and extension.
New Zealand Institute for Minerals to Materials Research are contracted by MBIE for $11 million excluding GST over 5 years to undertake research that shifts activities from mining of minerals to manufacturing from minerals.
PlantTech Research Institute are contracted by MBIE for $8.425 million excluding GST to accelerate innovation and find solutions to horticultural challenges through Artificial Intelligence technology.
We monitor the progress and performance of Regional Research Institutes (RRIs) against a Performance Framework.