Crown Research Institute


Crown Research Institute

In New Zealand, Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) are corporatised Crown entities charged with conducting scientific research.

Crown Research Institutes date from 1992, with most formed out of the parts of the former Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and of elements of various government departments. The dissolution of the DSIR, along with the government-imposed requirement that the CRIs become "financially viable" and operate on commercial lines, created a certain amount of resentment among some scientists.

The Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 states the purpose of a CRI as carrying out research, and that each CRI must do this for the benefit of New Zealand, pursuing excellence in all that it does, abiding by ethical standards and recognising social responsibility; and operating as a good employer. A CRI must do these things whilst remaining financially viable. The technical definition of financial viability changes from time to time, but currently focuses on return on equity. The State does not expect CRIs to maximise profit, but simply to cover costs of capital. This formula aims to ensure appropriate commercial disciplines whilst fulfilling scientific purposes.

The State charges CRIs with promoting the transfer and dissemination of research, science and technology. In other words, they have the role of "making a difference"[original research?] with the research they produce. They do this via strategic, long-term relationships with sectors (the CRI Act set up most of the CRIs with a sector-orientation), to support, sustain, challenge and develop existing sectors and also to lead development of new sectors.

Contents

Governance and administration

The New Zealand Government — via two Cabinet Ministers (the Minister of Research, Science and Technology and the Minister of Finance) — holds all shares in each of the current eight CRIs. Cabinet appoints a Board for each CRI. Each Board — intended to comprise business, "professional" and science expertise — operates according to the Companies Act as well as the CRI Act (1992) and other relevant Acts. Each Board produces an annual report and reports to the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit (CCMAU), (part of The Treasury) which represents the shareholders. Parliament also scrutinises each CRI on a regular basis.

Day-to-day, however, CRIs operate as any commercial company would, acting within their strategic statement of intent (agreed with the Shareholders) that aligns with the CRI Act purpose and principles.

The CRIs cooperate as Science New Zealand, formerly the Association of Crown Research Institutes.

Funding

NSOF (the Non-Specific Output Fund) provided CRIs with some independent public-good research-funding streams from 1992 to 2005. The CRI Capability Fund (CF) replaced NSOF as from July 1, 2005. It provides public funding to maintain, enhance, and foster current or new capabilities.

List of CRIs

Current CRIs:

The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (trading as Plant & Food Research) was formed by the combination of Crop & Food Research and HortResearch on 1 December 2008 [7]

Another CRI, the Institute For Social Research and Development, was disestablished in 1995 after failing to achieve financial viability. It should not be confused with the UN agency of the same name.

See also

References

  1. ^ "View All Details". business.govt.nz. 2011 [last update]. http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/552736/detail. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "View All Details". business.govt.nz. 2011 [last update]. http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/547965/detail. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "View All Details". business.govt.nz. 2011 [last update]. http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/545676/detail. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Scion". 2011 [last update]. http://www.scionresearch.com. Retrieved 19 October 2011. "SCION" 
  5. ^ "New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited". business.govt.nz. 2011 [last update]. http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/550377. Retrieved 15 October 2011. "NEW ZEALAND FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE LIMITED" 
  6. ^ "View All Details". business.govt.nz. 2011 [last update]. http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/547568/detail. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Crop and Food and Hortresearch to merge". The New Zealand Herald. 24 September 2008. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=82&objectid=10533889. 

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