Optimistic about Central Otago's Centre for Space Science Technology

Friday, October 28, 2016

Media Release

Jacqui Dean

Waitaki MP

28 October 2016

Dean - Optimistic about Central Otago's Centre for Space Science Technology 

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says she is optimistic that Central Otago’s Centre for Space Science Technology still has a good chance of gaining Government support as a regional research institute.

“Central Otago’s Space Science Centre is one of three short-listed applicants in the running for support, from 24 originally, with Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce yesterday announcing that Malborough’s New Zealand Research Institute of Viticulture and Oenology (NZRIVO) has been chosen to become the country’s first new research institute.

“This is an exciting development for the people of Malborough, however, I don’t want the Central Otago community to feel that their proposal no longer has potential.

“At this stage, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is still working through both Central Otago’s Space Science Technology Centre and Southland’s Earth+Vantage applications and they are still eligible for funding as part of this first round.

“I understand that both proposals are now in the final stages of business case development, and once that process is complete a decision will be made.

“In the meantime, I am delighted that Malborough’s viticulture and oenology research institute has been given the green light because of the benefits it is likely to bring to this region.

“With Central Otago’s growing reputation in the wine industry, producers will no doubt gain a great deal from the research and development work that Malborough is set to undertake in the years to come.”

Regional Research Institutes were announced in Budget 2015. In Budget 2016, the Government set aside $40 million of additional funds to support this initiative, bringing the total funding available to $65 million. The institutes are designed to encourage industry research and development and innovation in regional New Zealand, Mrs Dean said.

The Centre for Space Science Technology, in Central Otago, aims to drive regional economic growth by enabling access to new and existing space-based measurements and developing products and soluntions tailored to New Zealand's regional industries, for example, in water resource management and regional planning.