Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the start of new funding contracts for New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), which will enable a more strategic approach to science as they celebrate their 25th anniversary during 2017.
“Crown Research Institutes deliver real value for New Zealand by providing excellent research to generate ideas and innovations for our industries, to promote evidence that contributes to high-quality decision making, and to find answers to many of our national challenges,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“Their work covers many aspects that affect New Zealanders including resilience of communities and sectors to natural hazards, environmental protection and climate change, as well as high value manufacturing and development of new opportunities.”
The seven-year contracts, which combined represent a $1.2 billion investment, are the first to be issued through the Government’s new Strategic Science Investment Funding (SSIF) investment mechanism.
The move from five-year to seven-year funding contracts follows a review of CRI core funding to ensure alignment with the vision and design principles set out in the Government’s National Statement of Science Investment (NSSI).
The review found that increased stable funding would enable CRIs to operate more strategically and implement a number of improvements to deliver greater benefit to the science system.
“CRI funding accounts for around 15 per cent of the Government’s total science investment and represents a significant proportion of our national research activity,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“With more stable funding, CRIs can better plan for strategic scientific activity that is critical to the future of New Zealand’s economy, environment and wellbeing.”
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has worked closely with each CRI to develop ‘Platform Plans’ that describe how each agency will use its funding as well as targets and metrics to measure its performance.
“Platform Plans focus on purchasing science outcomes rather than funding organisations or individuals. They also provide a framework to support science capability that makes a critical and enduring contribution to New Zealand while still having the flexibility to shift funding as priorities change,” Mr Goldsmith says.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced the appointment of Dr Andrew McLeod to the Science Board for a term of three years.
The Science Board is responsible for investing funding used predominantly by research organisations for science, technology, research, and related activities.
“High-quality science can make a significant contribution to New Zealand by creating solutions to the economic, social and environmental challenges we face as a country. This is why we must invest in excellence and we must invest for impact,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The Science Board plays a major role in ensuring we invest in quality research that has a clear line of sight to the eventual benefits for individuals, businesses or society.”
Dr McLeod studied Pharmacy at Otago University before completing his PhD and post-doctoral studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California in San Francisco. He has held senior management positions at Douglas Pharmaceuticals, Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences and Douglas Nutrition Ltd.
Currently, Dr McLeod is leading the medical division of Douglas Pharmaceuticals Global Dermatology Franchise in New Zealand.
“Dr McLeod has an excellent science background, strong experience using and commercialising science and is well regarded in the sector. His insight is a very welcome addition to the Board,” Mr Goldsmith says.
More information on the Science Board can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has today released the draft New Zealand International Education Strategy for consultation.
The draft strategy sets out the government’s proposed vision, goals and immediate priorities for international education through to 2025.
“International education has grown rapidly to become New Zealand’s fourth biggest export earner, valued at $4.5 billion, creating around 33,000 jobs,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“It is important that New Zealand international education delivers on its promise to international students – an education to be proud of.”
“The draft strategy aims to ensure New Zealand continues to benefit from international education through a high quality and sustainable international education sector. The Government will work with the sector to encourage the development of innovative products and services, and continue to diversify our markets and to support regional economic growth.
“This means that we need to ensure that unethical or illegal activity is prevented, and that New Zealand education providers attract students who are motivated by study. It also means that government regulators need to act swiftly to address quality issues and make student wellbeing a priority.”
The Government is now seeking feedback from education providers and others about how the proposed strategy aligns with their priorities.
“I look forward to hearing the views of the sector and the public on this draft strategy,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The draft strategy and information on the consultation process has been published on the Education New Zealand website HERE. Consultation will close on 31 August 2017 and a final strategy is expected to be published later in the year.
The International Student Wellbeing Strategy launched earlier this month will be an important part of the finalised sector strategy. It can be found HERE.
A new report comparing the qualifications frameworks, levels, and quality assurance arrangements will help support more transparent and consistent recognition of qualifications between European Union Member States and New Zealand.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith, and European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, announced the release of the report, titled ‘Comparative Analysis of the EQF and the NZQF: Joint Technical Report’, this week.
“The comparative analysis has established a relationship between levels of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF),” Mr Goldsmith says.
“It provides information to promote greater understanding of qualifications and learning outcomes between European Union Member States and New Zealand.”
Ms Thyssen says that the improved understanding of the two frameworks may result in better informed decisions on the recognition of qualifications, and contribute to improved student and labour mobility between European Union Member States and New Zealand.
The report will support transparent and consistent recognition decisions by education providers and employers in New Zealand and among the European Union Member States.
Cooperation between the European Union and New Zealand is founded on strong historical and cultural links.
“Both the European Union and New Zealand share similar goals in ensuring learners develop the skills needed in the 21st century,” says Ms Thyssen.
“The project to compare the EQF and NZQF can help to further strengthen the existing relationship between the European Union and New Zealand,” Mr Goldsmith says.
This work aligns with the New Zealand Government’s vision of developing and sustaining mutually beneficial education relationships with key partner countries.
Despite the differences in nature between both frameworks, the comparative analysis has proved it possible to compare them. The NZQF dates back to 1992 and is one of the first qualifications frameworks in the world. It is an overarching national qualifications framework, comprising information on quality assured qualifications in New Zealand. It is designed to optimise recognition of educational achievement and its contribution to New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural success. The EQF was established in 2008 as a regional common reference framework with the purpose of improving the transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications in Europe. Thirty-two European National Qualifications Frameworks have been referenced to the EQF.
While the outcomes of the comparative analysis process do not entitle any holder of a European or New Zealand qualification to claim automatic recognition, the report provides clear information to support qualifications recognition decisions.
The report can be accessed here.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Paul Goldsmith today welcomed the launch of a new Labour Market Dashboard, which will give New Zealanders better access to data on trends in the labour market.
“One of MBIE’s responsibilities is to advise on New Zealand’s Labour Market and bring forward policy solutions that help achieve wage growth, keep employment high, grow the talent New Zealand needs, and ensure people get good outcomes from work,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Helping New Zealanders better understand the large amount of data available on the Labour Market is a key part of achieving these outcomes.
“The new Labour Market Dashboard released today is a big step forward in putting all of this information in one place. It helps break down the data available and addresses a big gap in the way the labour market data is presented online,” says Mr Goldsmith.
There are four different topics displayed in interactive charts for easy analysis: the Workforce, the Worker, the Workplace, and the Nature of Work. The data is displayed in interactive graphs and can be downloaded and exported to Excel graphs for greater analysis.
“Previously, if you wanted to find labour market statistics you may have had to go to several different websites to find the most up-to-date data. This could be frustrating and time consuming,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“The data hub pools all the relevant information and data from a range of sources and put it all in one place so anyone can easily access the data they need. This is an online, dynamic dashboard which will be kept up-to-date as new data is released.
“As the dashboard can be continuously updated, MBIE welcomes feedback on content and usability to ensure the dashboard is as relevant and user-friendly as possible,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The Labour Market Dashboard can be accessed HERE.
Primary sector education, research and innovation will receive a significant boost thanks to a capital injection for state-of-the-art new buildings at Lincoln University, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced today.
The Government has agreed to provide Lincoln University with $85 million to support the construction of new shared education and research facilities with AgResearch on the university’s campus. The investment will help Lincoln University’s recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes by replacing earthquake damaged buildings with modern teaching and research spaces.
“This is a significant investment by the Government that will benefit students, the primary sector, and New Zealand as a whole,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The new 27,000m² joint facility will enable increased collaboration, with researchers and academics organised by discipline rather than organisation, leading to an increase in the quantity, relevance, and quality of agricultural related research.
“The new facility will make an important contribution to creating a globally competitive agri-tech industry. By creating better links between research and industry the new facility will improve innovation and the applicability and speed of technology transfer to industry,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The new buildings will be a key part of the Lincoln Hub – a specialist land-based innovation cluster in partnership with Lincoln University, AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, Landcare Research and DairyNZ.
“The new facility will assist the growth of the ecosystem of science and education at Lincoln. It will play an important role in promoting a career in the agricultural sector for prospective students and staff, and will increase the number and quality of land-based sector graduates.
“I am excited for this innovative new facility and I look forward to seeing its benefits realised,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The new facility will accommodate almost 700 staff, students and academics and is comprised of five linked buildings which will be home to Lincoln University science research and teaching spaces, AgResearch laboratories, corporate facilities, and office spaces and facilities for DairyNZ.
Construction of the new buildings is scheduled to be completed by December 2019.
Early stage technology businesses in the regions can expect an easier pathway to support, thanks to the expansion of Callaghan Innovation’s founder incubators, says Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith.
Founder incubators are, as the name suggests, centred around a start-up founder, and bring groups of start-ups together, sometimes in a shared working space, to provide services to help with technology and market validation, business planning and investment preparation, among other support.
“Following an extensive tender process, Callaghan Innovation has awarded six providers one and two-year contracts for founder incubator services, beginning 1 July 2017,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The six successful applicants are:The Icehouse ZeroPoint Ventures SODA Inc Creative HQ BCC ecentre
“These successful applicants will significantly increase the extent of regional coverage. Our main cities are well served by multiple incubators and accelerators, but it has been much more difficult for regional start-ups to gain access to the same services.
“This regional expansion recognises that the tech sector’s best ideas do not only come from the main centres, and that improvements such as ultra-fast broadband mean that an export-focussed start-up could be based just about anywhere from Kaitaia to Bluff.”
Waikato-based founder incubator SODA Inc will work with partners to deliver services to start-ups in the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne/Tairawhiti and Hawkes’ Bay. The North Shore based ecentre will work with Northland Inc to deliver services to start-ups from the Te Tai Tokerau region. Wellington’s Creative HQ will look to bring services to several regions in the South Island.
Callaghan Innovation has also finalised contracts for business accelerators for the 2017/18 year, which includes the continuation of contracts for agritech accelerator Sprout, The Icehouse’s Flux, Creative HQ's Lightning Lab, and provision for a number of other sector-specific options in the coming year. Callaghan is also continuing the technology incubator pilot programme with funding confirmed for another two years.
The programmes demonstrate the Government’s commitment to encouraging more technology start-ups in New Zealand as a means to diversifying the economy and increasing productivity.
“These contracts underpin the Government’s commitment to readying the New Zealand economy for the technological disruption to come. Technology businesses create high value jobs, tend to be export-focussed form day one, and ensure that seismic shifts in global consumer demand will not consign our economy to the dustbin.
“I can’t wait to see the new Kiwi businesses that these incubators will help bring to market.”
More information on Callaghan Innovation can be found HERE.
Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith today launched New Zealand’s first Health Research Strategy which aims to increase the excellence and impact of government investment in health research.
“Investment in health research is crucial to delivering better health outcomes for New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.
“The Health Research Strategy sets a vision of creating a world-leading health research and innovation system by 2027. The strategy brings together science, health, research and innovation to form a more cohesive system.
“This strategy also reinforces the role the health sector has to play in health research. Research underpins delivery and provides opportunities for new cost-effective technologies and improved models of care.
“Research is one of the three key pillars in any high-performing health system, along with training and delivery. That’s why the strategy includes a commitment to sustaining and growing a strong health research workforce. It also addresses specific areas that are unique to New Zealand, such as Maori and Pacific health.”
“New Zealand produces some excellent health research which helps put our science on the map. It is important that our contributions have value internationally,” says Minister Goldsmith.
“Quality health research also underpins our high-value medical technology industries. Our health research system will achieve the best results when researchers, government agencies, and the commercial sector work together.
“The Health Research Council will run an inclusive priority setting process to ensure this investment will have the greatest impact. A key focus of the strategy is to ensure effective translation of research findings into policy and practice.
“In 2016, a total of $378 million was spent on health research and development (R&D) in New Zealand, accounting for 12 per cent of the country’s total R&D expenditure. R&D spending is a key driver of economic growth and an investment in New Zealand’s future.”
Budget 2016 saw New Zealand’s largest increase health research funding. This sees funding increase by 56 per cent over four years, going from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20.
For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website: http://www.health.govt.nz
The Strategy sets four principles to achieve the vision: excellence, transparency, partnership with Māori and collaboration for impact. It establishes four strategic priorities:Invest in excellent health research that address the health needs of New Zealanders Create a vibrant research environment in the health sector Build and strengthen pathways for translation into policy and practice Advance innovative ideas and commercial opportunities
The strategy was developed following an extensive consultation process in 2016 during which more than 500 people attended regional consultation meetings and targeted focus groups.166 written submissions were received by officials.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council will lead the implementation of the strategy and report on progress to Ministers regularly. An advisory group comprising of experts across the system will advise on implementation.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says the latest Jobs Online report shows strong growth in online job advertisements at 11.8 per cent in the year to May.
The report, released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), shows overall online job advertisements grew by 0.6 per cent in May, taking yearly growth to 11.8 per cent.
“It is encouraging to see job advertisements growing strongly over the past year, particularly the sectors which are part of the growth story for our economy,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The biggest increases in online job vacancy listings were in hospitality and tourism (up 1.6 per cent), and construction and engineering (up 1.4 per cent).
“Tourism for instance is New Zealand’s biggest export earner, at $14.5 billion, and employs over 180,000 people.
“The fastest growing occupations last month were in the construction industry, with job advertisements for machine drivers and operators increasing 2.6 per cent, and labourers increasing 2.4 per cent.
Construction vacancies in the March 2017 quarter were strongest in Auckland (up 2.6 per cent) and will be expected to continually rise with ongoing developments – such as the recently announced 1,500 new homes in Auckland’s Three Kings.
“With the real need for more skilled workers, approximately 38,000 through to 2020, we announced yesterday a further $7 million investment in apprentices and industry training over the next four years, and it is pleasing to see that the jobs are already there for those industry trainees to go into.
“It is also good to see growth spread around our regions which is vital to the success of our national economy. Last month the number of online job advertisements increased in all ten regions, with Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough, and the West Coast growing the strongest at 2.3 per cent,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Jobs Online measures changes in online vacancies from three online job boards: SEEK, TradeMe, and Education Gazette. It can be found HERE.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has congratulated the 60 New Zealand graduate students, academics, artists and professionals honoured as Fulbright grantees at a ceremony at Parliament today.
“Fulbright New Zealand provides opportunities for promising graduate students to complete a post- graduate degree at an American university in areas targeted to support growth and innovation in New Zealand”, says Mr Goldsmith.
The grantees are awarded up to US$31,000 each year, towards one year of study or research in the United States.
“The Fulbright programme is important in contributing to the on-going New Zealand – United States bilateral relationship, and this link between our two countries is stronger than ever,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“It’s more than six decades since the Fulbright programme between our two countries was established and in that time hundreds of New Zealanders and Americans have studied, researched and taught in each other’s country, making substantial contributions in their fields.
“Out of the 60 outstanding grantees, thirteen have received a Science and Innovation Graduate Award which are aimed to support New Zealand’s economic, social, environmental and cultural needs, and to build international science connections.
“The United States is one of New Zealand’s top science and technology partners, accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all New Zealand’s international science connections. The Science and Innovation Graduate Award is designed to support the continued growth of this mutually beneficial relationship,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The Science and Innovation Graduate Award recipients are:Andrew Pauling from Dunedin will research the impact of Antarctic ice sheet collapse on the global climate at the University of Washington in Seattle, towards a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences. Angus Chapman from Wellington will complete a PhD in Psychology, specialising in cognitive neuroscience, at the University of California, San Diego. Lottie Boardman from Christchurch will complete a Master of Environmental Management degree at Yale University in New Haven. David Robinson from Hamilton will complete a Master of Science in Robotic Systems Development, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu from Ruatoria will complete a PhD specialising in plant pathology at Penn State University. Hazelle Tomlin from Christchurch will complete a Master of Environmental Science specialising in Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting at Colorado State University. Jeremy Lee-Hand from Dunedin will complete a PhD in Physics specialising in Condensed Matter at Stoney Brook University in New York. Kate Turner from Dunedin will complete a PhD in Geophysics specialising in sea ice geophysics within a collaborative research environment of scientific and indigenous knowledge at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Paige Thomas from Auckland will research the impact of skill training on motor neuron disease at Columbia University in New York, towards a PhD in Speech and Language Sciences at the University of Canterbury. Rahul Gandhi from Auckland will complete a Masters in Public Health focused on Global Health, from Harvard University in Cambridge. Rebecca Bonnevie from Wellington will complete a Master in Laws specialising in information privacy, cyber security, and law and the internet at Columbia University in New York. Richard Hunter from Christchurch will complete a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, specialising in space vehicle design and optimisation, at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Sarah Nelson from Christchurch will complete a PhD in economics, specialising in renewable energies and the environment, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The Science and Innovation Graduate Awards are offered in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
For more information about this year’s Fulbright grantees see the 2017 Fulbright New Zealand Grantees Booklet, here.