Institute of Environmental Science and Research's science platforms

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) receives $9.2 million per year for 2 science platforms – Human and environmental health and Forensic science. This page provides the public statement from our contract with ESR.

Human and environmental health ($7.7M per year)

Prevent and mitigate infectious diseases, improve food safety, reduce water-borne contaminants and improve the safe use of biowastes.

The Human & Environmental Health Platform will support research that contributes to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders ($3.7m), safer food ($0.4m), improving the quality of freshwater and groundwater resources for human use and the safer use of biowastes ($3.6m), incorporating Vision Mātauranga outcomes across the spectrum of activities pursued. We will achieve our impacts through the application of genomics in public health surveillance improving our ability to identify and characterise infectious organisms. Novel detection and intervention methods will be developed to reduce food contamination enhancing New Zealand’s reputation for high quality products. We will develop appropriate and sustainable solutions that maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of biowaste reuse reducing the cost and environmental impact associated with their disposal. We will identify and evaluate methods to mitigate nitrate contamination of groundwater and assess the health of groundwater to optimise the balance between increasing land use intensity and environmental targets.

Forensic science ($1.5M per year)

Advance specialist expertise to deliver reliable and independent science to the justice sector.

ESR delivers forensic science services to the justice sector underpinned by research ensuring the science is internationally comparable and validated for the New Zealand population and environment. The Forensic Platform will invest in research that will help prevent and solve more crime ($1.5m). It will support Māori capability and incorporate Vision Mātauranga outcomes. The platform will develop, evaluate and implement innovative and fit for purpose forensic technologies and approaches so that ESR remains a world leader in the provision of forensic science expertise for the justice sector. The platform will investigate technologies for the early identification of offenders and for the detection and identification of drugs and associated products. It will explore novel approaches for the analysis of forensic data to support improved outcomes across the justice system.