National Science Challenges


The 11 National Science Challenges are cross-disciplinary, mission-led programmes designed to tackle New Zealand’s biggest science-based challenges. They require collaboration between researchers from universities and other academic institutions, Crown Research Institutes, businesses and non-government organisations to achieve their objectives.

A Better Start  — E Tipu e Rea

Launched in February 2016 and hosted by the University of Auckland, A Better Start aims to improve the potential for young New Zealanders to have healthy and successful lives. It will include leading experts in researching improved methods and tools to predict, prevent and treat obesity, and identifying and addressing learning and mental health problems in children and teenagers.

Contact
Kristine Scherp – Senior Communications & Marketing Advisor
Phone: +64 9 923 8481
Email: contact@abetterstart.nz, kristine.scherp@auckland.ac.nz

Ageing Well — Kia eke kairangi ki te taikaumātuatanga

The Ageing Well challenge is researching how to sustain health and well-being as people age, enabling all New Zealanders to reach their full potential into the later years of life. Research includes work to optimise brain and body health, reduce disability and moderate the impact of age-related illness such as dementia, stroke, depression and frailty.

Contact
Lisa Davis – Challenge Manager
Phone: +64 3 479 7429
Email: manager.ageingwell@otago.ac.nz

Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities — Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamāhorahora

Improving the quality and supply of housing are main priorities for the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities challenge, as well as creating smart and attractive urban environments. The work will take place in broader research that can be used by the building sector, householders, regulators, building owners and communities.

Contact
Email: buildingbetter@branz.co.nz

Healthier Lives — He Oranga Hauora

Hosted by the University of Otago, the Healthier Lives challenge is undertaking innovative research aimed at significantly reducing the death and disease burden of some of New Zealand’s leading health problems. It will tackle cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity with the aim of reducing the overall health burden.

Contact
Fleur Templeton – Knowledge Exchange Manager
Phone: +64 3 470 9859
Email: healthier.lives@otago.ac.nz

High-Value Nutrition — Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga

Through innovative science, the High-Value Nutrition challenge seeks to turn New Zealand’s food and beverage industry into an exporter of high-value foods with scientifically-proven health benefits.

Contact
Kristine Scherp – Senior Communications & Marketing Advisor
Phone: +64 9 923 8481
Email: hvn@auckland.ac.nz, kristine.scherp@auckland.ac.nz

New Zealand’s Biological Heritage — Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho

With the aim of reversing the decline of biological heritage, the Landcare Research-hosted challenge includes research to reduce rates of incursion or establishment of foreign invader species and enhance and restore the resilience of vulnerable ecosystems.

Contact
Caroline Fenton – Communications Manager
Phone: +64 22 398 3495
Email: comms@Biologicalheritage.nz

Stacey Bryan – Science Communicator
Phone: +64 27 315 8976
Email: support@biologicalheritage.nz

Our Land and Water — Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai

The Our Land and Water challenge aims to enhance the production and productivity of New Zealand’s primary sector while maintaining and improving the quality of the country’s land and water for future generations. This research will transform the way New Zealand uses and manages its land and water, through gaining greater value from global markets, innovative resilient land and water use, and building collaborative capacity.

Contact
Annabelle McAleer – Senior Communications Advisor
Phone: +64 3 321 8846 Mobile: +64 21 480 833
Email: annabel.mcaleer@agresearch.co.nz

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges — Kia manawaroa – Ngā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa

Hosted by GNS Science, Resilience to Nature’s Challenges will enhance New Zealand’s ability to anticipate, adapt and thrive in the face of ever-changing natural hazards. The challenge will develop technical resilience solutions and apply them in high-priority geographic and economic settings.

Contact
Ali Northern – Science Communicator
Mobile: +64 21 246 0645
Email: a.northern@gns.cri.nz

Science for Technological Innovation — Kia kotahi mai – Te Ao Pūtaiao me Te Ao Hangarau

Hosted by Callaghan Innovation, the SFTI challenge plans to tackle New Zealand’s big high-tech challenges to grow the economy. Research will cover materials, manufacturing and design; sensors, robotics and automation; and IT data analytics and modelling.

Contact
Emma Peel – Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
Phone: +64 4 931 3786
Email: emma.peel@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz

Sustainable Seas — Ko ngā moana whakauka

With the focus on enhancing the utilisation of marine resources, the Sustainable Seas challenge – hosted by Niwa – will involve leading experts in researching ecosystem-based management. The aim is that the New Zealand marine environment is understood, cared for, and used wisely for the benefit of all, now and in the future.

Contact

Robin Wilkinson – Senior Communications Advisor
Phone: +64 27 282 6125
Email: robin.wilkinson@niwa.co.nz

Diane Dinnis – Science Writer
Phone: +64 3 343 7866 Mobile: +64 27 807 8444
Email: diane.dinnis@niwa.co.nz

The Deep South — Te Kōmata o Te Tonga

The Deep South challenge is working to understand the role of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean in determining New Zealand’s future climate.

Contact
Alex Keeble – Senior Communications Advisor
Phone: +64 27 807 8443
Email: Alex.Keeble@niwa.co.nz

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