Funding & get involved
Pūtea me te whai wāhi

Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge invests in two types of research projects - Seed and Spearhead projects. On this page you’ll find out how out to apply for Seed project funding or get involved in a large Spearhead project.

Image: SfTI researchers at the 2019 SfTI Researchers Workshop



Seed project fund

The Seed project fund is intended to bring in new ideas and new researchers to the SfTI community. Our Seed projects are: smaller, high risk, technically complex projects based on ideas developed by researchers themselves.

Funded for up to two years with a maximum of $200,000 per project. Since 2016 SfTI has funded 69 Seed projects, with funding rounds typically held every year. Learn more about the projects we have funded. 

Apply for Seed project funding

Our last Seed Projects funding call closed on 20 March, 2020. Future calls will be announced here, and you can also keep up-to-date with our latest news by:

Get involved in a Seed project

If you would like to express an interest in being part of a current Seed project, you can do so any time by contacting the lead researcher, their names can be found on the Seed project page and contact details can be found on their institution’s website.



Spearhead projects 

Spearheads projects are large Mission-led research projects developed in consultation with Maōri and industry. The projects span more than three years and are funded up to $1m per annum. They are made up of cross-disciplinary, multi-organisational research teams that are formed through a Mission Design process.

Get involved in a current Spearhead project

If you would like to express an interest in being part of a current Spearhead project, you can do so any time by contacting the lead researcher, their names can be found on the Spearhead project page, and contact details can be found on their institution’s website.



Upcoming Calls for Expressions of Capability (EoCs)

We periodically release call for EoCs from researchers to support the development of Spearhead projects. Unfortunately, there are no planned EoC releases in the next few months. Future EOCs will be published here, and we will notify your institution's research office. You can also keep up-to-date with our latest EoC news by:

Recently closed Expressions of Capability

Biosecurity Technology

The Biosecurity Technology focus is on employing cutting-edge physical sciences and engineering to create new processes and tools that will better protect NZ from harmful biological elements such as non-indigenous flora, pathogens, insects and mammalian species. This project will be developed with our National Science Challenge partner, New Zealand’s Biological Heritage | Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho. Expressions of Capability (EoCs) from researchers to support the development of this new Spearhead project closed on Monday 10 August 2020.

Veracity Technology

The Veracity Technology focus is on developing technology that enables New Zealand to prove we are delivering on our claims. We are asking the question of how exactly can we prove the truthfulness of the data, the people, and the place. Expressions of Capability (EoCs) from researchers to support the development of this new Spearhead project closed on Monday 17 August 2020

Clean Water Technology

In December 2019, we called for Expressions of Interest (now called Expressions of Capability) from researchers to support the implementation of a new Spearhead project arising from the Clean Water Technology (CWT) Mission Lab. Applications closed on 7 February 2020.