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University of Waikato receives more than $35 million in MBIE research funding

12 September 2014

The University of Waikato has received more than $35 million in the 2014 round of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s new science research funding, claiming two of the top four amounts awarded.

Waikato received funding for four of the 48 research projects totalling nearly $160 million (including GST) announced on September 11 by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

University of Waikato Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says the amount of MBIE funding received by Waikato is a reflection of the high quality of research being carried out at the University.

“Our research explores relevant and diverse issues. The MBIE funding ensures this research will have an impact on solving the world’s challenges, especially in the critical area of cyber-security, for years to come.

“Some of these projects are national collaborations with other researchers and end-users, and I’m pleased to see recognition of the importance of bringing together these groups to draw on their combined expertise. This is something we are constantly focussing on at the University of Waikato.”

The University acknowledges its valued partnerships with the University of Auckland, Cloud Security Alliance, GNS Science, Callaghan Innovation, Titanium Industry Development Association, Massey University, Scion Research, University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, Unitec, Landcare Research and NIWA.

Waikato University has claimed nearly one quarter and the second highest amount of the overall MBIE funding. The University is also involved in a further $3.5 million in subcontracts where it is supporting other researchers.

Waikato University funding

  • $12,223,770 - Dr Ryan Ko - Security Technologies Services in the Cloud. Research will focus on creating a suite of cyber-security tools to ensure security in the Cloud.
  • $14,490,000 - Professor Brian Gabbitas - Titanium Technologies New Zealand (TiTeNZ). TiTeNZ is to develop a titanium research platform in New Zealand and create a multi-company, multi-sector manufacturing base for high value exports.
  • $5,519,123 - Professor Jacques Poot - Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand (CaDDANZ). The research analyses demographic change in New Zealand.
  • $2,898,000 - Professor Craig Cary - Assessing Sensitivity to Change in the Dry Valleys. This research programme will address the challenge of conservation in the Dry Valleys in Antarctica. (All amounts inclusive of GST)

Security Technologies Services in the Cloud

Security Technologies Services in the Cloud, headed by Dr Ryan Ko, has been awarded $12,223,770 (including GST) over six years. Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Transparency and User-centric Services in the Cloud (STRATUS) will create a suite of novel security tools, techniques and capabilities which return control of data to Cloud computing users. Executed by a team of leading Cloud security researchers and practitioners from multiple institutions and disciplines, STRATUS will deliver a platform of software, human capability and technical resources easily accessible by a broad range of New Zealand industry and government organisations. The team consists of the University of Waikato, the University of Auckland, Unitec and the Cloud Security Alliance. Dr Ko has been involved in Cloud computing from the earliest days, working for HP’s Cloud and Security Lab from 2010 to 2012. He also volunteered as a research director for the Singapore chapter of the not-for-profit Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) - an organisation which promotes best practices for providing security assurances within cloud computing - and is the founder of the CSA Cloud Data Governance Working Group. In 2012, Dr Ko was one of six people worldwide to receive the Ron Knode Service Award for his volunteer efforts with the CSA. At the same time, he was appointed to the CSA Asia Pacific leadership team as research adviser. In 2013, the University of Waikato opened New Zealand’s first cyber-security lab, and launched a Masters in Cyber-Security.

Titanium Technologies New Zealand

Titanium Technologies New Zealand (TiTeNZ) has been awarded $14,490,000 (including GST) over six years. The research, led by Professor Ian Brown from Callaghan Innovation in conjunction with Professor Brian Gabbitas from Waikato, will be undertaken by leading applied materials research groups at the Universities of Waikato, Auckland University, GNS Science, Callaghan Innovation and the Titanium Industry Development Association (TiDA). TiTeNZ will develop a world class titanium research platform in New Zealand and create a multi-company, multi-sector manufacturing base for high value exports. TiTeNZ builds on current research capability and infrastructure to develop new high strength, low weight, high durability materials and products for export by designing and transferring to industry new processes to optimise the properties of titanium alloy materials formed primarily through powder metallurgy routes. A mix of paths to market will deliver business and export benefits valued by the industry at more than $100m by 2023, on track to achieve a one billion dollar per year titanium-based export industry before 2030.

Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand

Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand (CaDDANZ), headed by Professor Jacques Poot in partnership with Professor Paul Spoonley of Massey University. This has received $5,519.123 (including GST) over six years. The face of New Zealand is changing rapidly as a consequence of the settlement of migrants from throughout the world. CaDDANZ is a research programme that will identify how New Zealand can better prepare for, and respond to, demographic changes in order to maximise benefits associated with an increasingly diverse population. The research measures, maps and analyses the complex societal impacts of diversity and the implications for businesses, households and communities of mobility, migration, indigeneity, ethnic identity, demographic change (including structural ageing and fertility) and urban/regional disparities. A significant component of the research is concerned with the implications of diversity for Māori and with how Māori engage with diversity.

Assessing Sensitivity to Change in the Dry Valleys

Assessing Sensitivity to Change in the Dry Valleys, headed by Professor Craig Cary, has been awarded $2,898,000 (including GST) over four years. As an original signatory of the Antarctic Treaty and the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection, New Zealand has an obligation to ensure the highest standards of management for the continent based on scientific evidence. In particular, New Zealand has a special responsibility for the protection of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, which face increasing human activity, effects of climate change, and growing risks of invasion by non-native species. This research programme, led by the International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research in collaboration with researchers at University of Waikato, University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, Landcare Research, and NIWA, will address the challenge of conservation. This will be achieved by combining scientific information obtained through rigorous fieldwork, laboratory experimentation and analyses, satellite imagery and other remote-sensing data, and ecological modelling to deliver evidence-based maps of diversity and sensitivity and identify areas in need of special management and protection.

The University is also represented in $3.5 million of subcontracts with four other projects: Professor Peter Kamp and members of the University’s Energy Centre, with Scion Research - Wood-Energy Industrial Symbiosis; Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford and Professor Kim Pickering with the University of Auckland’s Lightweight products: the next generation; Associate Professor Rainer Kunnemeyer and Dr Mike Duke with the University of Auckland’s Multipurpose Orchard Robotics; and Dr Shaun Barker with GNS Science’s Mineral exploration models.