Hutt science projects win funding

Hutt Valley news
Thursday, May 28, 2015

National List MP in the Hutt Valley Chris Bishop, has welcomed news that three Hutt Valley science projects have received government funding through the “Unlocking Curious Minds” contestable fund.

The $1 million “Unlocking Curious Minds” fund, part of the “A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara” national strategic plan for science in society, was launched at Boulcott School by Ministers Steven Joyce and Hekia Parata with Mr Bishop in July last year.

The fund supports projects that use innovative and best-practice approaches to help New Zealanders, in particular young people aged 18 years and under, to learn about and engage with science.

The three Hutt Valley projects to be funded are:

  • GNS Science – Libraries as science communication hubs ($20,000)
  • Hutt City Council – Let’s get practical ($20,000)
  • Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust – Te Oranga o te Awa – Wainuiomata ($20,000)

“There was high demand from around the country for the fund, with impressive proposals from a wide range of applicants. 28 applications were accepted in total, so it’s great to see the Hutt win funding for 3 projects,” says Mr Bishop.

“This comes just a few days before the Hutt STEMM festival kicks off next week, which will showcase the strength of the Hutt’s science, technology, engineering, manufacturing and maths sectors.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to develop the Hutt Valley into ‘Technology Valley’, where science, technology and high value manufacturing drive economic growth, new jobs and higher wages for Hutt residents. To achieve that, we need many more of our young people becoming interested in science and technology, thinking about them as career options, and considering further higher-level study.”

Through the Business Growth Agenda, the National-led Government is backing the Hutt’s science and technology focus, through programmes such as:

  • Callaghan Innovation and its various R and D grant programmes, including student internships, and support for Creative HQ’s new “Lightning Lab” digital accelerator
  • Record investments in science and innovation
  • New tax rules to encourage research and development
  • Increased investment in engineering places, and promotion of engineering through the Education to Employment initiative
  • Supporting the new engineering school at the WelTec Campus
  • Funding a new ICT Graduate School in Wellington

More information about the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund can be found here.