Megan Woods signals thrust of science sector restructuring

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, in  her Cawthron Institute Centenary Speech today, portended some key features to be incorporated in a shake-up of the country’s research, science and innovation sector.

Dr Woods congratulated Cawthron for its support of industry and work in improving the health of our environment

She enthused about the success and growth over time of the institute’s Aquaculture Park and the recent opening of the National Algae Research Centre.

“It’s great to see your research areas expand while supporting the growth of an exciting new seaweed and algae industry. I’m particularly interested in the research looking at producing alternative protein sources from algae and how we can become a key contributor in this growing field.”

Dr Woods also mentioned the institute’s work improving farming conditions in our aquaculture industry and creating better health indicators for King Salmon, to help drive higher industry standards and maintain our position as a global leader.

Cawthron’s vision, to provide science that contributes to sustainable growth,

“… also aligns with the multi-year programme I am leading which is focused on the future of New Zealand’s research system.”  

That was Dr Woods’ segue to discussing work on Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways.

The government recently completed engagement with the research, science and innovation sector, she said.

Several high-level themes coming through include:

  • Developing national research priorities, in partnership with Māori that are flexible and adaptable.
  • A shift from the current focus of competition between organisations to a more collaborative approach.
  • Improving the visibility of Mātauranga Māori and better enabling Māori research aspirations
  • A desire that the future of our RSI sector is more stable both for our workforce, and across project funding

Dr  Woods said:

“I’m pleased with our progress to date, we know we have much more to do.

“And as we speak, my MBIE officials are bringing together your feedback and aim to share this shortly.”

All in all, Dr  Woods said, this was an exciting time to re-imagine a future research, science and innovation system that reflected the country’s diverse nature.

Source:  Minister of Research, Science and Innovation


Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog