Seed project funding 2020

Applications closed on 20 March, 2020 with 108 applications received. Applicants have been notified of their results, please email if you require further information about the results. More information on eligibility, and the application process be found below, and within our Call for Proposals 2020 document:

SfTI is calling for Seed Project Fund proposals. Applications close March 20.

Please note, there have been some key changes to previous funding rounds:

Priority will be given to proposals:

  • aligned with the Data Science and Data Technologies (DSDT) or Sensors, Robotics & Automation (SRA) themes
  • with a team (including the Principal Investigator) of emerging researchers and;
  • Vision Mātauranga (VM) aligned research.

Researchers currently funded within other SfTI projects, are not eligible for funded involvement in Seed projects.


We welcome project proposals from researchers at New Zealand based organisations, with research capability relevant to SfTI’s research themes: Sensors, Robotics and Automation; Data Science and Digital Technologies; and Materials, Manufacturing Technology and Design.

Researchers currently funded within other SfTI projects are not eligible for funded involvement in Seed projects, though unfunded personnel with relevant involvement are eligible

Project proposal guidelines

The project proposal must demonstrate the following aspects:

  • Stretch science (clever, risky, complex), and/or address a potentially disruptive technology area.
  • Focus on physical sciences and engineering research aspects although the context of the project may be in another field e.g. health, biological sciences, food processing or business. 
  • Make a strong case for the New Zealand context and niche, and if successful, a contribution to New Zealand’s future economic growth.

Applications now closed (March 20)

Applications are made through MBIE's portal. You will need an account to login, if you do not have a account, please refer to your institution's Research Office, they can set one up for you, as well as manage your proposal submission.

Key dates and process

  1. 2020 CfP released – mid December 2019
  2. MBIE portal opens for applications – 31 January 2020.
  3. National webinar CfP open Q&A session – Monday February 17, 2pm and Tuesday February 18, 11am 2020.
  4. Applications close – 12 noon Friday, 20 March 2020
  5. Initial screening for eligibility – end March 2020
  6. Panel assessment of proposals – April to mid-May 2020
  7. Successful applicants are notified and contract negotiations begin – early June 2020