Our Role


Changing How Science is Done

The traditional science funding model, which takes the form of applying for competitive grants, is known to create research silos. Under these conditions, researchers and knowledge holders protect their ideas instead of sharing them, which leads to poor communication and duplication of work. Silo behaviour wastes time, effort and funding.

At BioHeritage we use a collective approach – building on the strengths of many people and organisations – to creating long-term impact and benefit for Aotearoa, across natural and production landscapes.

Our strategy is to use our investments to change the competitive nature of science funding to a more collaborative approach, and foster broad connections across organisations, communities and stakeholders to effectively and holistically protect our biological heritage.

We want to reduce competition and connect people so they can work together.

Funding by negotiation:
Based on expressions of interest, we conduct extensive research and select high impact, previously underfunded investments.

To protect and manage Aotearoa New Zealand’s biological heritage, we prioritise impact, not just how many papers can be published from the results.

Encourage collaboration:
We focus on making broad connections, not reinforcing silos in the sciences. We require collaboration in all our investments and prioritise transdisciplinary research.

Partnerships with Māori; supporting communities:
Our processes are designed to support partnership with tangata whenua and communities to ensure that the hierarchy often present in the sciences is dissolved.

We aim to effectively bridge knowledge gaps and build connections across research teams, organisations and communities to better protect our biological heritage. We also hope this approach drives transformational change within the sciences across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Scoping Process

Throughout 2019 we embarked on a scoping process that figured out where to target research for impact for the next five years, in both National Science Challenge and Ngā Rākau Taketake investments.

This process brought together people from all walks of life who had in common a drive to collaborate and to see real change for our biological heritage. Ten teams focused on nine areas – identifying what would deliver the most on-the-ground impact, what had previously been underfunded, and what sectors just needed more cohesion to start tracking in the right direction.

Their recommendations were distilled into the BioHeritage investments you see today.

Our Impact

We aim to do this by investing throughout what we call the ‘innovation system’. This includes discovery, invention, innovation, translation, adoption and scale out. Without one of these six steps, impact doesn’t get to the people on the ground – where it’s needed the most.

Nz Innovation System

A visual representation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s innovation system.

We aim to create lasting impact in three areas:

Empowering people to take action to protect the biological heritage of Aotearoa.

Protecting te taiao by strengthening our biosecurity system.

Restoring our biological heritage now and for future generations.

Bioheritage Strategy 2019 2024 Cover

Bioheritage strategy for 2019-2024

View our full version or summary version.

Our Investment Priorities

From the recommendations of our scoping groups, we are investing in 14 main areas from 2019-2024. Many of these teams have overlapping mahi (work) and will be working closely together across the board.

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