Documents and reports

Assessing the commercial and social value of the SfTI Challenge

NZIER report to the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge June 2024

During SfTI’s final months, SfTI asked the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) – an independent, not-for-profit consultancy – to carry out a review of 11 of our projects. The projects chosen represent a diverse range of sectors; from dentistry and eye health, to batteries and surveying robots. Early-stage research is a long way from commercial reality, so in order to value our work as accurately as possible, SfTI selected projects the furthest along that trajectory to impact.

The Mission-led Approach to Science and Research 2024

A National Science Challenges Director's Discussion Report

In August 2023 SfTI invited NSC Directors, to discuss the nature and impact of this Mission-led programme, and what it might mean for the future of NZ’s research, science, and innovation (RSI) system. The output is published in this report.
Although each NSC has focused on a different Mission, there are three guiding principles shared across the programme that the Directors believe could have long-term benefits for the RSI system.

Briefing to in the Incoming Minister

Prepared in 2023 for Minister Collins

This Briefing to the Incoming Minister (BIM) is from the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge. It explains the purpose and work of SfTI, which aims to enhance New Zealand’s capacity to use physical sciences and engineering for economic growth and prosperity.

Building New Zealand’s Capacity for Science-based Open Innovation Report 2022

What is the best way research and science can contribute to New Zealand's prosperity?

Research and development and innovation are essential components of New Zealand’s economic and social well-being. The Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity (BNZIC) research programme has been gathering data on what works and what doesn't in terms of promoting innovation throughout the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI). In this second report, the BNZIC team examines international and New Zealand-specific shifts affecting the research, science and innovation sectors and summarises these shifts into four broad trends which accelerate successful and equitable innovation.

Accelerating Science Innovation Through Human and Relational Skills Development

Interim Capacity Development Report

Our Capacity Development team has recently released its interim report, drawn from observation, interviews and surveys with our researchers and with stakeholders, including Māori and business. They were helped by our social science-focused Spearhead research team Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity (BNZIC), which is funded to track the value of our new approaches and to assess whether it’s helping researchers and helping us deliver on our mission.
The Capacity Development and BNZIC teams will also deliver a final quantitative report in the 2023-2024 year.

Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways Green Paper consultation

Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge Submissions

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have been consulting on their Te Ara Paerangi - Future Pathways Green Paper, with the aim to create a modern, future-focussed research system for New Zealand. Learn more about the programme and consultation process on the MBIE website:

Read and download the full SfTI submission, our Kāhui Māori submission or a submission from SfTI's Spearhead; Building New Zealand's Innovation Capacity (BNZIC) here:

Understanding Māori rights and interests in Intellectual Property (IP) arising from research and innovation

A report published by Te Kotahi Research Institute

The growth of the knowledge economy has led to questions as to what protections Māori have in the intellectual property (IP) of Aotearoa New Zealand. In a jointly funded project between Genomics Aotearoa and SfTI, a team of researchers investigate how the IP system of Aotearoa-NZ might protect Māori rights and interests with respect to Māori data, genomic data and Mātauranga Maōri.

The research project had two components. First, a literature review on national legislation and international agreements that comprise New Zealand’s Intellectual Property Rights regime. Secondly, a survey targeting research institutions (inc. NZ Universities, Wananga, Crown Research Institutes, Independent Research institutions, the National Science Challenges, and CoREs) exploring whether IP policies are in place to protect Māori data, and in particular, data involved in research and innovation processes.

The aim of the report is to assist institutions on their journey to develop policies that protect Māori rights regarding their knowledge and data and ensure equitable benefit-sharing through the innovation processes.

A Process Approach to Research Impact

A paper about research impact from our SfTI Challenge Director, Prof Sally Davenport

Research Impact is certainly the interest of the moment with respect to evaluating the role of research in society. This paper discusses how the Aotearoa-NZ science system can move beyond the traditional view of research impact to include capacity development and changing behaviours; and how we need to widen our focus of impact evaluation to include the processes that support mission-led research and collaboration across the science and innovation system. Evaluation needs to focus on ‘impacting’ (behavioural change) as much as ‘impact’ (products and services etc).

SfTI Whakatauākī

He hiringa hangarau, he oranga tangata - Innovation in technology for the benefit of people

Tā (Sir) Pou Temara - Ngāi Tūhoe (KNZM) renowned Māori orator, tikanga and te reo Māori expert and academic gifted the whakatauākī to the Challenge. The Challenge’s Kāhui Māori sought Tā Pou’s advice to represent the intent of the Challenge – to accurately reflect te ao Māori and the ambitions of its research community. SfTI’s Kāhui Māori advisory group ensures te ao Māori principles are embedded across SfTI, whilst guiding SfTI researchers to do this in their work. The Kāhui Māori include leading Māori science experts from iwi across Aotearoa.

Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity Spearhead

Phase One Insights Report

The Building New Zealand’s Innovation Capacity (BNZIC) Spearhead Project is studying the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge through its full ten-year term while reflecting findings across the research community. For nearly five years, a research team led by Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl and Dr Urs Daellenbach has been studying how SfTI researchers and stakeholders collaborate, through a mix of observation, interviews, quantitative baseline surveys, and qualitative ethnographic approaches.

A Guide to Vision Mātauranga

Lessons from Māori voices in the New Zealand Science Sector

This guide shares voices from an experienced ensemble of contributors who work at the interface between the Māori and Scientific worlds. Led by the Rauika Māngai meaning ‘assembly of representatives’, the report provides perspectives from scientists, research leaders and programme managers from across all 11 National Science Challenges and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. The contributions to this guide were gathered at the Vision Mātauranga Leadership Hui, 30-31 October 2019. Over 100 attended the two-day event held at Ngā Wai o Horotiu Marae, Auckland Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Second Tranche Forward Strategy

Our strategic plan for 2019-2024 is available in a summary format or as a full document: