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Canterbury researchers funded $17m to solve global problems

08 September 2022

Six University of Canterbury research projects aimed at tackling the world’s big issues have been green-lit with funding worth almost $17 million.


Professor Andy Nicol’s (right) research programme Pūhiko Nukutū: a green hydrogen geostorage battery in Taranaki has received $11.8million in the latest 2022 MBIE Endeavour Funding round. Dr David Dempsey (left) is also part of the research team.

Five UC researchers’ Smart Ideas projects were funded at around $1 million each and a Research Programme was funded at $11.8m by the latest Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) funding round.

The MBIE Endeavour fund will support University of Canterbury projects to improve food security, increase green hydrogen storage, boost productivity of food, and create sustainable, low-carbon, seismically resilient concrete 3D-printed homes all while reducing carbon emissions.

SDG7-Affordable and Clean Energy

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Ian Wright is delighted with the high number of Canterbury research projects which gained funding and their relevance to tackling the world’s wicked issues.

“University of Canterbury researchers are committed to solving current and future challenges faced by all of Aotearoa and the world due to climate change, carbon emissions, energy and housing crises, food security and other wicked problems. The funding of these research projects and programme highlights their national and international significance and relevance for ensuring tomorrow’s world is one our children and grandchildren can inherit,” Professor Wright says.

“UC researchers are excelling in the field of renewable energy and specifically green hydrogen, so it is great to see this recognised with significant funding of a research programme in this area that will advance New Zealand and the world.” 

Another two UC research projects focussed on green hydrogen were recently funded $4million combined through the Catalyst: Strategic New Zealand-Germany Green Hydrogen Research Partnership.

Research Programme

Smart Ideas projects

  • Low-carbon and seismically resilient solutions for 3D concrete printed homes – Dr Giuseppe Loporcaro, UC Engineering, $999,999
    UC architectural engineer Dr Giuseppe Loporcaro is leading a research project to refine low-carbon, seismically resilient solutions for 3D-printed homes suited to New Zealand conditions. He discusses the work, including a video, here: Building a more sustainable future with 3D concrete printed homes
  • Creating Soilless Precision Farming via Ultraclean Water Production, Invention of weather-adapting Green-tech – Associate Professor Alex Yip, UC Engineering, $1m
  • High-efficiency Gallium Oxide Power Electronics for New Zealand’s Zero Net Emissions Future – Professor Martin Allen, UC Engineering, $1m
  • A simple capillaric platform for real-time diagnostic devices: In-house wine testing as proof-of-principle – Associate Professor Volker Nock, UC Engineering, Professor Ren Dobson, UC Science, $1m
  • Innovating climate risk assessment: A system-wide, geospatial approach for councils and communities – Dr Tom Logan, UC Engineering $1m

For more information on the new research, see the MBIE Endeavour fund website.

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