Source: Tertiary Education Commission
Ten university research programmes have been chosen to share $373.5 million in long term funding as Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs), the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has announced.
“The Centres of Research Excellence are world leading programmes and amongst the most significant investments in research by government,” says TEC chief executive Tim Fowler. “CoREs focus on collaborative long-term work, and thousands of students, researchers and support staff across the tertiary sector will benefit from their activities over many years.”
The Tertiary Education Commission board made the final decision on funding after considering recommendations from a Royal Society Te Apārangi advisory committee. There were 31 proposals considered for this round.
“Being selected as a CoRE is an intensive process, and the quality of the proposals was very high. It was a fully contestable process with proposals judged on the excellence of their research and contribution to New Zealand’s development. We’ve seen the practical value CoREs can provide this year with the significant contribution researchers from Te Pūnaha Matatini CoRE have made to the COVID-19 response with their modelling of infection spread.
“One notable area for this round was the significant involvement of Māori in all the shortlisted proposals, as well as a commitment to community involvement. One of the new CoREs – Coastal People: Southern Skies – will see researchers from a range of disciplines working with communities, including iwi, councils and environmental groups, to understand and address social, economic and environmental issues that affect coastal ecosystems, especially the impact of climate change.
“The other new CoRE – Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa New Zealand – Manaaki Mānawa – aims to work in partnership with iwi, hāpu, whanau and aiga to create a vibrant world-class centre for research into heart and respiratory diseases to improve outcomes, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples who are the groups most affected by these diseases in New Zealand,” says Tim Fowler.
The CoREs Fund was established in 2001 to encourage the development of collaborative tertiary education-based research that is strategically focused and creates significant knowledge transfer activities. CoREs research must be leading edge and of world class, and make a significant contribution to the tertiary education system and to New Zealand’s future development.
The centres will be hosted at New Zealand universities and will conduct in-depth research into areas such as health and nutrition, earthquake resilience, physical sciences, indigenous scholarship, and bio-protection. Each CoRE will receive between $4 million and $6.4m million annually for 7½ years from 2021 to 2028.
The University of Auckland received funding to host four CoREs and Otago to host two, while Lincoln, Massey, Canterbury and Victoria each received funding to host one CoRE. Eight of the selected centres are already receiving CoREs funding and two are new programmes.
More information on the successful CoREs is attached.
For more details go to www.tec.govt.nz/funding/funding-and-performance/funding/fund-finder/centres-of-research-excellence
Ten funded CoRES for 2021-2028 (with total funding)
Bio-Protection Aotearoa, Lincoln University ($32.25 million)
Bio-Protection Aotearoa will conduct discovery-led research guided by a Māori values framework – Taiao – to deliver an integrative and intergenerational approach in how we protect our productive landscapes from pathogens, pests, weeds and climate change. Bio-Protection Aotearoa is a collaboration of leading researchers in partnership with top educational institutes to produce translational outcomes and the next generation of leaders that will ensure Aotearoa-New Zealand’s productive landscapes are healthy and resilient to provide for the future well-being.
Riddet Institute, Massey University ($38.25 million)
The Riddet Institute will generate the future knowledge and skills required to help address the unprecedented challenges and disruptions facing the food sector in a rapidly changing world. It will be the world’s top institute in discovery-led research at the frontier of food materials science, nutrition and health, and will develop high calibre human capital to ensure rapid innovation, a vibrant food sector and long lasting socioeconomic benefits for New Zealand.
The Maurice Wilkins Centre, University of Auckland ($46.5 million)
The centre undertakes multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research that investigates the causes of metabolic diseases, cancer and infectious diseases and seeks to develop and implement new therapeutic solutions for these.
Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa New Zealand – Manaaki Mānawa, University of Auckland($40.5 million)
Through research excellence, Healthy Hearts for Aotearoa New Zealand – Manaaki Mānawa will strive towards equity in heart health for Māori and Pacific Peoples and improve cardiovascular health and well-being in Aotearoa New Zealand. They will employ a life course approach, guided by Māori values and principles, to address the nation’s crisis of equity for cardiovascular health in Aotearoa by earlier, more precise and personalised prevention, prediction, detection/diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga; New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, University of Auckland ($37.5 million)
The research of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga realises Māori aspirations for positive engagement in national life, enhances its excellence in indigenous scholarship and provides solutions to major challenges facing humanity in local and global settings.
Te Pūnaha Matatini – Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems, University of Auckland ($30 million)
Te Pūnaha Matatini – ‘the meeting place of many faces’ – is a Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems, with a pioneering transdisciplinary approach that brings the application of complexity science to the critical and pressing issues of our time. Weaving together Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading researchers in quantitative and qualitative sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, Te Pūnaha Matatini focuses on impacts which will enable human thriving and flourishing ecosystems within the finite resources of our planet.
Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE: Aotearoa New Zealand Centre for Earthquake Resilience (QuakeCoRe), University of Canterbury ($31.5 million)
Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE’s vision is an earthquake-resilient Aotearoa New Zealand where thriving communities have the capacity to recover rapidly after major earthquakes through mitigation and pre-disaster preparation. To achieve this vision, QuakeCoRE’s mission is to transform the earthquake resilience of communities and society through innovative world-class research, education of the next generation, and deep national and international collaborations using New Zealand as a natural earthquake laboratory.
Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, University of Otago($36.75 million)
The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, Te Whai Ao, produces world class physical sciences research regarding light and its interaction with matter. This research supports New Zealand industries, underpins the development of new technologies, and informs our education programmes, which provide the next generation of talented individuals diversifying and expanding Aotearoa New Zealand’s knowledge economy, improving the wellbeing of us all.
Coastal People: Southern Skies, University of Otago ($32.25 million)
The vision of Coastal People: Southern Skies is flourishing wellness (mauri ora) of coastal communities. Their mission is to connect, understand and restore coastal ecosystems of New Zealand and the Pacific through transformative research, local action and by unlocking potential through new opportunities and pathways to learning.
The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Victoria University of Wellington ($48 million)
The MacDiarmid Institute develops fundamental knowledge in the physical sciences to support resource and energy sustainability, moving New Zealand towards a prosperous zero carbon, energy efficient, and zero waste future. Throughout their work in advanced materials and nanotechnology, they engage directly with Mātauranga Māori through partnerships, and grow national capability for sustainable innovation that delivers impact in education and industry.