" The paths to the future are not found but created"

Research and Development

We have undertaken a number of projects for the New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology which have contributed to government thinking on its involvement with research and development, especially with respect to the ownership of crown research institutes (CRIs) and on how research and development should be funded. In this section we feature three papers of particular and ongoing interest.

Devolution: A Think Piece 2005
This paper was prepared in 2005 to assist the Ministry of Research, Science & Technology in rethinking the relationship between government funding of science institutions and their capability and performance. It reviewed different international approaches to funding which suggested Government should place a stronger emphasis on the inherent capability of researchers and their institutions, rather than on scoring specific project proposals. The paper was a forerunner to the 2010 Crown Research Institute Task Force Report which picks up on similar themes.

The paper also discusses a shift to a different approach: relational contracting which recognises that the purchaser and provider have a common interest in building an ongoing relationship and which relies on building trust. The key relationships may be at a governance, rather than (or as well as) at an operational, level.

Crown Research Institutes: Science Outcomes
This 2003 paper is the first of two papers prepared by MDL for the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology for MoRST as part of the Ministry’s "10 years on" appraisal. The focus is on different approaches to commercialisation and technology transfer and looks extensively at international experience.

Crown Research Institutes: Governance and Capability
This 2003 paper is the second of two papers prepared by MDL for the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology as part of the Ministry’s "10 years on" appraisal of the results from the early 1990s restructuring of government science. It considers the relationship between CRI governance, how the government managed its ownership interest, and the capability of CRIs as research institutions. It remains relevant today.


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