WELLINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government will invest 14.4 million NZ dollars (9.46 million U.S. dollars) into transformative new scientific research programs including cutting-edge cancer treatment and vertical farming.
"These investments will help us find the answers to some of our greatest challenges, cures to deadly diseases, improving food resilience, and transitioning to a lower carbon and more productive economy," Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said on Thursday.
"This kind of research will help make New Zealand's economy more sustainable," Woods said in a statement.
These projects demonstrate New Zealand's growing strength in applying cutting edge technology to real-world problems. They will see companies and industry bodies partnering to perform ground-breaking research, Woods said.
One of the four research grants announced on Thursday have the potential to deliver breakthrough immunotherapy treatment for that uses a patient's own T-cells, modifying them to recognize and eradicate cancerous cells with a high degree of precision, she said.
Another research develops new applications of UV light to seeds and seedlings to increase plant productivity and resilience to crop stresses such as drought or disease.
"Science and innovation are major drivers of economic growth and international competitiveness. These partnerships will see lasting benefits for New Zealand's economy," the minister said.