Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced the successful applicants for the $1 million Unlocking Curious Minds Contestable fund.
“The Unlocking Curious Minds pilot fund is an important step towards engaging more New Zealanders to learn about science, particularly our young people"
The fund offers two levels of grants: up to $20,000 for local projects, and up to $150,000 for regional or national projects.
“It is great to see high demand for the fund, with a number of impressive proposals from a wide range of applicants, including community organisations, schools, charitable trusts, universities, Crown research institutes, and the business sector.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the
Government and SkyCity have agreed a revised preliminary design for the
New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).
The new design will provide for a slightly smaller centre to be built
without any construction costs being met by the Crown. SkyCity has
also agreed to increase the minimum amount it will invest in the centre
from $402 million to at least $430 million, and the company says it
could spend in the range of $450 million to $470 million.
“I am pleased to confirm today that the revised design approved by
Cabinet and the SkyCity Board means that a very impressive International
Convention Centre for Auckland will be completed without any financial
contribution from the Government or any other change to the regulatory
concessions,” Mr Joyce says.
“This amended design will be very similar in appearance to the
previous design and will, when built, be a major new amenity for the
city. It will drive a significant increase in tourism expenditure in
Auckland and around New Zealand through the estimated 33,000 additional
convention delegates and $90 million annual increase in delegate
expenditure that it is expected to bring each year.”
Budget 2015 will provide a further $112.3 million of operating
funding over four years and $1 million of capital funding to invest in
knowledge and skills to grow New Zealand’s economy, Tertiary Education,
Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.
“We are continuing to address the relative underfunding of
higher-cost disciplines such as science and agriculture to ensure that
these economically important and research-rich areas attract more
investment from providers to deliver more of the skills and knowledge
New Zealand needs to drive economic growth.
“We are also investing more in manifesto priorities such as engineering and Māori and Pasifika trades training,” Mr Joyce says.
Budget 2015 provides:
$85.8 million over four years for significant targeted increases in
tuition rates at degree level and above, including a 7.5 per cent
increase for science, a 20 per cent increase for agriculture, and
increases for optometry, pharmacy and physiotherapy.
$11.4 million over four years to increase the number of engineering
graduates, including $5.2 million for more engineering places, and
funding for activities to raise the profile of engineering and support
more people to become engineers.
An $8.4 million contingency to grow Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (up to 500 new learners per annum from 2016).
$5.9 million over four years to support an increase in demand for Trainee Medical Intern Grants.
$900,000 in operating funding over four years and $1 million of
reprioritised capital funding to expand the Youth Literacy and Numeracy
Baseline funding to introduce Rate My Qualification, which allows
employers to provide direct feedback to tertiary providers, and students
to see what qualifications employers value.
Budget 2015 allows for up to $25 million over three years to support
the establishment of new privately led Regional Research Institutes,
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says.
The Government will work with regional stakeholders to identify where
the best opportunities are to develop new institutes, and has allocated
funding from 2016/17 to support best case proposals.
“The proposed new research institutes would support innovation in
regional areas outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by
maximising the unique business, technology, and economic growth
opportunities in a region.
“They would be funded from a mixture of public and private sources
and modelled along the lines of Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, which is a
specialist not-for-profit institute for aquaculture, marine biosecurity,
and coastal and freshwater ecology. We envisage funding the launch of
between one and three new institutes over the next four to five years
depending on demand.
The Budget provides further funding of $12.1 million for the New
Zealand Business Number (NZBN) initiative, which provides a unique
identifier for businesses to use in their interactions with government
agencies and each other.
The NZBN is part of the Government’s Better Public Services for
business (Result 9) programme, which aims to reduce by 2017 the cost to
businesses of interacting with government by 25 per cent, Economic
Development Minister Steven Joyce and Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Minister Paul Goldsmith say.
All key government agencies that work regularly with businesses will
be required to recognise and use the NZBN by the end of 2017.
Today’s announcement follows the recent introduction of legislation
that extends the NZBN to all business entities, including sole traders,
partnerships and trusts. Around 1.1 million companies received unique
NZBNs in late 2013.
In the National-led Government, Hon Steven Joyce is Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister of Science and Innovation, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Minister Responsible for Novopay, and Associate Minister of Finance. This website is funded by The Parliamentary Service and authorised by Steven Joyce MP, Executive Wing, Parliament, Molesworth St, Wellington.