SfTI hosts Clean Water Tech Mini Mission Lab

25 January 2019 | Read time: 3 minutes

The Clean Water Tech Mission is one of several new topics being explored by SfTI as a big idea for the next stage of this National Science Challenge.

As with all our research, in order to be funded, each new mission is required to demonstrate how it would leverage NZ’s unique strengths, capability or resources to take a measurable, future-oriented leadership position.

The Mission Lab, held over a full day at the end of November 2018, was an opportunity to bring technology leaders from relevant sectors and disciplines together so that they could offer a future focused perspective to explore the next opportunities and challenges for SfTI.

Throughout the day 25 expert attendees broke into smaller groups of around eight members to discuss a series of questions before reporting back to the room.  The attendees included SfTI management team members, along with representatives from a number of organisations, such as Ministry for Primary Industries, Seequent, Takiwa, Water Care Services and Te Taumutu.

Attendees were next encouraged to explore desired or ideal outcomes for each of the identified themes and underlying issues.

The Mission Lab photo 1

The Mission Lab photo 2

The Mission Lab photo 3

On the surface, the ideal future appeared to rely heavily on education, good policy and collaboration.  Further, the concept of intergenerational guardianship or kaitiaki was strongly featured throughout the day’s discussions.  

There was a high level of enthusiasm for the potential of science and technology to prevent, monitor and remediate poor water quality, with each of these three elements highlighted as essential for an effective nationwide response. 

The next steps will be organising two more hui. The first will be focussed on identifying issues of particular importance to Māori, which will be closely followed by a researcher’s meeting to formulate and plan a research programme that addresses at least some of the priorities established at the Clean Water Tech Mission Lab.