Expression of Interest call for industry-led spearhead projects

Spearhead projects are intended to deliver specific innovative technologies to help the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI) to achieve its mission of enhancing New Zealand’s capacity to use physical and engineering sciences for economic growth.

For the 2017 funding round, we are looking to fund 2-3 new spearhead projects to the tune of $1m per annum for two years.

During a series of workshops, we have asked industry leaders to put forward, discuss and agree some key directions for New Zealand’s high-tech future.

As a result, four research directions are being taken forward, and researchers are now being invited to express interest in bringing together or joining a New Zealand-wide team to develop formal proposals to address the following key research directions:

1. Connecting fragmented communities – the digital marae/whare

2. Intelligent oceans – smart sustainable farming in the ocean

3. Small scale production, learning robots and robots in harsh environments

4. Personalised value chain – the individual as a customer

At least one project will be fully Māori-led with an appropriate Māori governance structure, and guided by the SfTI Kahui Māori.

The Call for EOI documents are available in the Researcher Hub section of the SfTI website or by requesting them from

We will fund travel and workshop costs for potential team members to meet, form a functioning team, develop project plans and then a formal proposal.

Key Dates

Call for EOIs released                              21 April 2017
EOI applications close                              COB 2 May 2017
Teams notified of EOI results                   8 May 2017
Teams start working on proposals            8 May 2017
Full spearhead proposals close                5 June 2017
Successful applicants notified                  July 2017
Projects start                                             As soon as possible from July 2017
Contract completion date                         30 June 2019