Entrepreneurial Universities


Here are some preliminary frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the Entrepreneurial Universities initiative. These will be updated regularly.

More information about the initiative and selection process will be released soon.

If you have other questions in the meantime, please contact your Investment Manager  or email eui@tec.govt.nz



What will the initiative do?

The Entrepreneurial Universities initiative will establish a competitive fund to enable universities to recruit world-leading academics with entrepreneurial and commercial capability to stimulate increased innovation and entrepreneurship in the university sector. This will grow New Zealand’s scientific excellence in a way that complements other initiatives in higher education.

Why is the government establishing this initiative?

New Zealand universities are already engaging in valuable initiatives to increase New Zealand’s overall innovation capability and performance. An increasingly innovation-led economy creates more opportunities to partner with commercial sector research towards shared objectives. This initiative is designed to stimulate this process through recruiting world-leading entrepreneurial researchers who will build stronger and more relevant links with existing and emerging industries and firms. It is part of a wider package to grow universities’ leadership role in innovation and entrepreneurship across New Zealand.

How much funding is available?

Budget 2016 allocated $35 million over four years for this initiative: Approximately $5 million for the first year and $10 million in each subsequent year, as well as out-year funding. The amount and length of funding for each successful proposal is yet to be determined. Funding will be non-SAC funding.

Who will be eligible for the fund?

All New Zealand universities will be eligible to submit proposals for the competitive funding round.

How will applicants be selected?

We will run a competitive selection process. All proposals will be evaluated by a panel of experts. Further details of this process will be announced following stakeholder consultation.

When will funding be made available?

Funding for the initiative will be made available from 2017. Successful proposals are expected to be established throughout 2017.

What can the funding be used for?

Funding will be available to support academics to undertake research, and innovative and collaborative activity with industry. Information on funding parameters will be released as part of the competitive process.

Why is this initiative focused on the recruitment of overseas researchers?

Overseas researchers will add to New Zealand’s existing talent pool, growing research expertise in key areas where we are poised to become a world leader. They will bring fresh perspectives and experiences to generate new ideas across the wider university faculty. Scientists from overseas also bring with them embedded international networks to inform directions of research in New Zealand university departments.

Internationally-connected, world-leading research has been shown to attract and stimulate world-leading firms and start-ups. For example, Singapore, Ireland and, recently, the University of New South Wales in Australia are all operating or launching initiatives of this nature, and are reporting positive impact.

  • Last changed: 11 August 2016
  • Last verified: 11 August 2016