From Competition to Collaboration: Challenges for New Zealand Science
Science has long been based on a model of individual and institutional competition. The reforms of the sector in the 1990s led to the formation of the crown research institutes (CRIs), which had responsibilities for specific economic or environmental sectors, independence and separate governance. The bulk of funding came via the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, with often intense competition for resources. This was exacerbated by the openness of the investment processes to universities, research associations and other research providers. Over the past decade there were various attempts to encourage nzinterdisciplinary and collaborative programmes, manage overbidding and establish alternative models, such as outcome-based investments, but there were still significant transaction costs in the competitive bidding processes. Doubts remained as to whether the nation was maximising benefits.