CRIs to get longer term funding

Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) will get longer term funding as the Government seeks changes to make them "engines of growth", Science Minister Wayne Mapp said today.

The Government today announced its response to a taskforce's recommendations on getting the best out of the CRIs.

Dr Mapp said the CRIs would be getting greater clarity about their roles and purposes which would match more strategic and longer term funding.

"The new long-term strategic funding in particular is a huge change which will enable CRIs to better align with sectors and produce better science," Dr Mapp said.

"These changes are the most significant in the sector in 20 years. CRIs will be working for the benefit of New Zealand as a whole, not just for the benefit of the individual CRI."

The Government recently announced that the policy functions of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology would be merged with the funding arm the Foundation for the Research, Science and Technology.

The National government of the 1990s created the CRIs and split up the science policy and funding role forcing scientists to bid for funding.

However, the taskforce said the system was not getting the best out of the science and technology sector.

The last government moved more funding to a longer term basis, but Dr Mapp said more should have be done as it was "obvious" reform was needed.

Dr Mapp said the Government expected to see CRIs form closer relationships with research users and greater collaboration with other research units.

He also signalled an overhaul of CRI boards saying their membership would be examined to ensure they had the relevant experience to manage the changes in the system.

- NZPA

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