Veracity Technology research project receives $2 million

1 July 2021 | Read time: 3 minutes

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This week the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge is launching a two year, $2 million Spearhead Research project looking for data and computer science solutions to an ancient question: How can you verify something is what it appears to be? 

This question is relevant across endless industries and communities. In a world where data is increasingly behind all our products and services, knowing that data is authentic is key to trusting in any transaction.

The Veracity Technology Spearhead Research Project hosted by Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington will kick off this month with a multidisciplinary team with representatives from multiple universities. This research direction has been informed by an in-depth mission design process including a series of large scale online design thinking workshops involving Māori, industry representatives and leading scientists. Find out more about the mission design for this Spearhead.

The team will be led by Assoc Prof Markus Luczak-Roesch of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Information Management, and will employ cutting edge science to develop new ways to build digital infrastructures that support more transparency.

“Whether it’s a natural product, a digital product or data, it’s increasingly difficult to know if something is truly what we think it is. How do you know for sure where a product is made or whether the claims made about it by the producer are authentic. Plus how can we trust that our data is protected and used only in ways we have agreed to?” says Research leader, Markus Luczak-Roesch


This is of particular concern when it comes to Māori knowledge and data. The Project’s Vision Mātauranga Leader, Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, Assoc Prof Māui Hudson (Te Whakatohea, Ngā Ruahine, Te Mahurehure), explains the importance of protecting mātauranga Māori data:

“Veracity is about ensuring the integrity of data or products as it moves into different spaces. Digitisation of Māori knowledge and data enhances access but also increases the possibility of misappropriation and misinterpretation. Maintaining the integrity of the mātauranga is an important outcome for iwi.”

An industry advisory group will be established, to ensure ongoing market input and engagement with end users, rangatahi and sector representatives, including socio/legal, regulatory, software and supply chain expertise. Plus the project will create a collaborative multidisciplinary research lab to put Aotearoa at the forefront of veracity technology worldwide.

Assoc Prof. Luczak-Roesch says, “This Spearhead research project has the potential to make a difference for New Zealand businesses by growing trust, potentially maintaining the integrity and competitiveness of entire sectors. Plus it puts focus on a growing global issue that matters to every individual; the truthfulness and authenticity of information in the digital sphere.”


What is Veracity Technology? A QnA with Assoc Prof Markus Luczak-Roesch and Assoc Prof Māui Hudson