The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.
The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental data sets collected via satellites.
“The projects were chosen on excellence, and will help New Zealand to address some of our greatest challenges like bringing Te Reo into everyday digital interactions, and building a picture of climatic and ecological trends,” Megan Woods says.
“To harness the benefits of data science, New Zealand needs to be at the forefront of emerging data science technologies. The new investment will significantly lift New Zealand’s capability, provide fresh and ambitious thinking to support international and national collaborations in cutting edge data science research.”
Collectively the programmes provide a wide coverage of data science research and make good use of unique New Zealand data sets. They have strong domestic and international collaborations involving a number of New Zealand universities and research organisations with strong links to end users.
“Greater use of advanced data science across the economy, environment and society will create new ways of working, helping to position New Zealand for a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future,” says Megan Woods.
Data science involves extracting useful information through different methods of recording, storing, and analysing data.
The investment comes through the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF). The SSIF’s purpose is to establish and support longer-term research programmes of mission-led science critical to the future of New Zealand’s economy, environment and wellbeing. This is the first SSIF investment in a fund dedicated to data science research.
The successful programs are:
- A language platform for a multilingual Aotearoa: Starting with Te Reo. This will develop a multilingual language platform to that will enable New Zealanders to engage with technology in the language they use or aspire to use every day. World-leading data scientists from New Zealand, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Mozilla and Māori communities will work on this project in a unique collaboration. (Te Hiku Media and Dragonfly Data Science, $13 million over 7 years)
- A data-science driven evolution of aquaculture for building the blue economy: This will develop innovative data science techniques that will enable the aquaculture industry to produce high quality, low-carbon protein efficiently and at large scale, without impacting the environment. (Victoria University of Wellington, $13 million over 7 years)
- Time-Evolving Data Science / Artificial Intelligence for Advanced Open Environmental Science: This will focus on developing new methods to deal with environmental datasets that are collected in large volumes over time, ranging from broad scale satellite images to single point measurements on the ground, in the water or air. (University of Waikato, $13 million over 7 years)
- Beyond Prediction: explanatory and transparent data science for life and social sciences: This will develop new methods that discover, gather and integrate useful data with minimal human intervention. (University of Auckland, $10 million over 7 years)