Notice Type
Notice Title

Criteria for Proposals for Partnerships Funding

1. Notice to the Science Board
Pursuant to section 8(1) of the Research, Science, and Technology Act 2010, I set the criteria specified in this notice for the assessment by the Science Board of proposals for partnerships funding.
2. Interpretation
In this notice:
research organisation means an organisation whose primary business function and activity is the provision of science and technology services and expertise, and may be a Crown Research Institute, a Tertiary Education Institute, or an independent research organisation.
research user means an entity that uses research and determines the outcomes that will result from research.
3. Policy objective
3.1 The policy objective of the partnerships funding tool is to invest in research, science, or technology, or related activities that increase competitiveness in New Zealand industries through the establishment of partnerships between research organisations and research users.
3.2 It is intended that partnerships will:
(a) Provide for early and ongoing user engagement in research, science, or technology, or related activities, so as to increase the likelihood that the partnership will achieve successful application of the research; and
(b) develop user capability by engaging productively with researchers, so as to encourage an increase in the level of private investment in New Zealand-based research, science, or technology, or related activities.
4. Eligibility criteria
Proposals for partnerships funding must be assessed against the following eligibility criteria:
4.1 Partnership members
The partnership:
(a) must include at least two research users or at least one industry representative body; and
(b) must include at least one research organisation, which may be either a partner in the partnership, or an organisation contracted by the research users to undertake the research, science, or technology, or related activities of the partnership; and
(c) may include non-New Zealand partners, provided that the proposal meets the benefits to New Zealand criteria set out in clause 5 of this notice.
4.2 Funding
Co-funding is intended to leverage the government’s investment in the partnership. The partnership members must invest cash co-funding in the partnership that represents at least 50% of the total cost of the research, science, or technology, or related activities carried out by the partnership during the term of the relevant contract.
Additional criteria relating to co-funding are set out in clause 6.4.
4.3 Partnership viability
Each organisation in the partnership must:
(a) be financially stable;
(b) have a good trading history; and
(c) demonstrate that it can provide the co-funding required by clause 4.2.
4.4 Partnership governance
The partnership must have appropriate governance arrangements in place that reflect best practice.
4.5 Intellectual property (IP) agreements
The partnership must:
(a) have an IP agreement signed by all parties to the partnership that is fair, commercially sensible, covers all key issues, and reflects shared risks proportional to shared benefits; and
(b) have an IP policy that reflects the need to capture the maximum benefit for New Zealand from the Ministry’s investment.
4.6 Partnership research, science and technology and related activities
The partnership may carry out research, science, or technology, or related activities that use international research capability and infrastructure facilities if the partnership can demonstrate that this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the partnership. However, a significant proportion of the research should be undertaken in New Zealand.
5. Assessment criteria
Proposals for partnerships funding that meet the eligibility criteria must be assessed against the following assessment criteria:
Benefits to New Zealand Risk Management or Success Factors
Outcome benefits to New Zealand
Key Question: Assuming the partnership is successful,
what is the potential contribution it will make?
Proposals must be assessed on:
- the potential for multiple applications to arise from
the research, science, or technology, or related activities over the timeframe of the partnership
- the potential contribution to outcomes of benefit to
New Zealand Implementation Pathway
Key Question: What is the likelihood that the partnership will successfully implement the research, science, or technology?
Proposals must be assessed on:
- the implementation plan, including:
- appropriate timelines to delivery
- plans to overcome any barriers to adoption
- the contribution and commitment of the research users in the partnership to the application of the research, science, or technology and development, including through the provision of co-funding
Weighting 35% Weighting 25%
Research, science and technology benefits to New Zealand
Key Question: Is the idea novel, innovative and the science of high quality?
Proposals must be assessed on:
- whether the research, science, or technology, or related activities of the partnership will advance knowledge frontiers
- the content and quality of the project plan
- the critical mass and capability development and maintenance of the proposal Ability to deliver research, science and technology results (outputs)
Key Question: What is the likelihood the research outputs will be achieved?
Proposals must be assessed on:
- the RS&T track record of the members of the partnership
- the level of project management and support provided
- the plan for mitigation of technical challenges in
the research
Weighting 15% Weighting 25%
6. Additional criteria for partnerships funding
6.1 When assessing proposals and allocating partnerships funding, the following additional criteria must be taken into account:
(a) Funding allocations must be consistent with the Public Finance Act 1989 and the relevant vote administered by the Ministry of Science and Innovation; and
(b) the assessment and allocation must take into account the research outcomes outlined in the relevant Sector Investment Plan ("Plan") (if any), including the investment strategy for each output expense.
6.2 Funding for proposals for partnerships funding may be allocated from any of the following output expenses:
(a) Biological Industries Research.
(b) High Value Manufacturing and Services Research.
(c) Energy and Minerals Research.
(d) Environmental Research.
(e) Hazards and Infrastructure Research.
6.3 The overall mix of investments made in respect of each output expense must be taken into account, so that the mix of investments will contribute to the delivery of the outcomes for that output expense sought in the relevant Plan.
6.4 The following criteria must be used to determine whether funding provided by the partnership qualifies as co-funding for the purposes of clause 4.2:
(a) If the partnership is an industry partnership, then funding from central government, local government, not-for-profit organisations, Crown Research Institutes, or Tertiary Education Institutes does not qualify as co-funding; and
(b) funding from a subsidiary of a Crown Research Institute or a Tertiary Education Institute can qualify as co-funding only if the Science Board considers that is appropriate. Funding from a subsidiary that has been created to leverage partnerships funding will not qualify as co-funding.
6.5 Proposals for second-term funding may not be a continuation of the first contract. There must be material differences between the two proposals.
6.6 Funding may be awarded for a maximum of seven years and must provide for a mid-term review.
7. Revocation of previous notice
This notice supersedes and revokes the notice entitled "Partnerships" published on pages 198 and 199 of the Establishment of Innovation Board and Science Board and Other Related Notices Supplement to the New Zealand Gazette, 31 January 2011, No. 9, page 177.
Dated at Wellington this 6th day of March 2012.
HON STEVEN JOYCE, Minister of Science and Innovation.