NZAS Press Release: Reaction to Budget 2016 Science Funding

PressRelease-Budget-2016-NZAS.pdf53.85 KB

"Continued Change amongst the Positive News for Science" - the NZAS Press Release about science funding announcements in the 2016 Budget can be found here.

The government's fact sheet summarising science and innovation funding changes in the 2016 Budget is here.

Numbers don't add up

Can't see how the numbers add up. Contestable funding is said to increase by $113.8m over four years. Yet the difference between $182.7m and $200.4m is only $17.7m. Even if the full increase is in place in year 1, that is still only $70.8m more over four years.

Increase in MBIE Contestable explained

(Thanks to Chris Bumby for working this out)

It looks like the MBIE Contestable Science Fund (now Endeavour Fund) increase is to account for the fact that some funding from this fund is now starting to go into the National Science Challenges.  The fact that some Contestable Fund funding was going to be linked in this way to the NSCs was made clear some years ago (for instance, in point 16 of the "Funding Envelopes for the Second Tranche of National Science Challenges, December 2013" document on MBIE's site.  That would have left the MBIE Contestable Science Fund decreasing over time.

Page 23 of the Budget 2016 estimates shows the new money going in to the Endeavour Fund (top line of the table).

The sum of this does indeed equal $113.8m, and the increase added to the existing part that isn't incorporated in NSCs gives the values quoted of $182.7m rising to $200.4m.  As you've pointed out, the Endeavour Fund increases by a smaller amount over time from its current level, however the increase does now mean that the National Science Challenge funding announced some years ago is all new money, and does not partly draw on the Endeavour Fund.