Next Monday, research contracts to the tune of $133m will take effect, boosting the research and development funding of smart kiwi companies.
The first tranche of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's 2012 science investment round supports 47 research projects in the biological industries; energy and minerals; the environment; hazards and infrastructure; and health and society funding categories.
"Science is both a driver of economic growth and a strong platform for evidence-based decision making across society. These projects have been selected on the basis of their high-quality science and the difference they can make," says science and innovation minister Hon Steven Joyce.
To see the full list of successful research grants click here.
Optimum N, Lincoln Ventures
This programme will provide farmers with an automated process, termed 'Optimum-N', that will estimate the amount of nitrogenous fertiliser required in pastures, and apply the appropriate amount variably across the pasture.
The benefit from this program will be smarter and more responsible application of nitrogenous fertilisers to NZ's pastoral farms, reducing environmental damage while maintaining or improving productivity.
The Sustainability Dashboard, Agribusiness
The NZ Sustainability Dashboard project is a sustainability assessment and reporting tool in partnership with five primary industry sectors. The tool is being developed to assist producers with the rational management of the large amounts of information available and to assist them with their subsequent management decisions. It will also assist them to comply with the ever-increasing demands for market and regulatory reporting.
Smarter irrigation, Lincoln Ventures
To develop a novel, cost-effective moisture sensor, resulting in increased productivity and profitability of pastoral farming, particularly dairying, while reducing negative environmental impacts.
It will do this through reducing the water required to irrigate crops - thereby allowing expansion of land area that can be irrigated from existing water takes; and reducing nutrient leaching from overirrigation, thus reducing fertiliser costs to farmers and groundwater contamination.
Resilient urban futures, University of Otago
Most New Zealanders live in cities. Resilient Urban Futures explores which of several possible urban futures in the new green economy will be most resilient, liveable and competitive.
The aim of the research is to compare the broad costs and benefits and qualitative features of two possible urban development paths, one emphasising more compact development and the other emphasising moregreenfielddevelopment.
Energy cultures 2, University of Otago
The proposal: NZ's transport and business sectors have the greatest potential for significant savings and increased competitiveness through energy efficiency, followed by households.
Energy Cultures 2 will work with all these sectors to support a faster and more effective uptake of energy efficiency. It will also support the uptake of new energy-efficient transport technologies and practices, and identify system-wide changes that will be required.
Grid energy storage, IRL
Stable grid operation is vital to maintaining security of electricity supply and avoiding cascade failures on the network. Large quantities of renewable generation, such as wind and solar, pose challenges for grid operation because it is both intermittent and cannot provide short term frequency support to the network in the same manner as conventional generators.
This project seeks to develop a novel clean-energy storage technology that will enable grid stability to be maintained, even in networks containing very high levels of non-hydro renewable generation.
Marine ecosystem services valuation, Massey University (Smart Idea)
Our aim is to develop a robust framework to characterise, quantify, map and place an economic value on coastal-marine ecosystem services.
Ecosystem services are benefits derived from ecological processes that occur in the natural and human-modified world that typically are not considered in economic decision-making - e.g. nutrient recycling, climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and food provision.
Next generation biodiversity assessment, Landcare Research
This research aims to produce a method of rapid and thorough assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem function through state-of-the-art molecular techniques.
The idea is to fill the current information void concerning biodiversity criteria that can be used as indicators of ecosystem function in productive landscapes.
To facilitate 'green growth', criteria must be developed from reliable, comprehensive data and will require cost-effective monitoring. Current methods for measuring terrestrial biodiversity rely on costly surveys and scarce professional labour and focus on plants, mammals, and birds.
Soil biodiversity, critical for nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration, is neglected.
Understanding factors that build resilience in New Zealand, Massey University
This project will consolidate and add to knowledge about resilient communities in New Zealand, across the continuum of hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery - with a particular focus on indigenous knowledge.
Building on research on the Canterbury earthquakes, the Rena oil spill, responses to economic shocks, and recovery from natural hazard events the research will investigate post-disaster community resilience in urban, rural and Maori communities.