Mother and daughter holding apple, shopping for groceries, Beijing

The High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge has secured $53.2m funding to continue its mission-led programme of innovative research into the health and wellbeing attributes of New Zealand produced foods for our major export markets for a further five years.

The funding was approved by the Science Board, the body responsible for investing Government funds in research, science and technology. The Hon Dr Megan Woods, the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation welcomed the funding of $422.5 m across the 11 National Science Challenges. High-Value Nutrition will receive $53.2m to continue its research investment from June, 2019. Challenge Director Joanne Todd said, “We appreciate the confidence in the quality of Challenge science by the Science Board and our funder, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The funding announcement recognises the creativity and innovation shown by Challenge researchers and acknowledges the work of the Challenge management team to bring focus and clarity to a nationwide collaborative research effort. To date, High-Value Nutrition has invested more than $20m in research aligned to four key nutritional health platforms: Digestive Health, Immune Health, Infant Health and Metabolic Health. To build these teams, the Challenge has brought together more than 100 researchers drawn from the country’s top nutrition and health research institutions, with co-investment from the private sector to investigate and better define the physiological processes underlying these health areas, and how bioactive ingredients in New Zealand foods may influence health. The research is in service to the broader vision for high-value foods for health and wellbeing to lift export returns by $1bn a year from 2025.

High-Value Nutrition’s strategy sets out five ways the Challenge will work, alongside others, to transform New Zealand from a producer of commodity foods into a trusted and innovative source of high-value foods that consumers in our key markets choose to buy to support their health and wellbeing.

  • The Challenge acts as an ‘engine’ to drive the transformation of perceptions of NZ foods from ‘safe’, to ‘safe and good for health’
  • The Challenge’s 10-year target to lift export revenue from high-value foods by $1bn by 2025 is the start of a growth trajectory – with on-going investment in HVN projects
  • Enhance NZ’s reputation as a source of innovative high-value foods for health
  • Greater collaboration between businesses for New Zealand Inc
  • Science is aligned to business needs – and businesses stand confidently behind products and claim