The University of Otago is disappointed by a more than
$11 million drop in funding through the Government's science
The university received $1.9 million from this year's $278
million Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
(MBIE) round, an 85.6% drop on the $13.2 million it received
This placed it well behind the University of Auckland, which
received more than $17 million, and also Waikato and Massey
Most of the funding this year went to organisations outside
the university sector, including AgResearch, Plant and Food
Research and the Cawthron Institute.
Otago University deputy vice-chancellor of research and
enterprise Prof Richard Blaikie said it was disappointing
only two of its projects received funding despite ''a
number'' being very well rated by the referees.
''What we gained in new contracts next year more than
compensates for what MBIE contracts we have coming off. It's
net positive, but not as good a result as we would have hoped
Receiving funding were a project called ''manufacturing
molecules through enzyme engineering'' ($1 million over two
years) and one called ''selective insecticides'' ($920,000
over two years).
Dr Monica Gerth and Dr Wayne Patrick hope to develop new
biomanufacturing processes for two chemicals - one used in
paints, varnishes and adhesives and the other used to make
synthetic rubbers - which were at present produced from
Associate Prof Peter Dearden hoped to develop an insecticide
effective against pests but which had no effect on bees.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced the 51
funded research programmes yesterday.