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The Idealog guide to the coolest new projects MBIE is funding

The Idealog guide to the coolest new projects MBIE is funding

MBIE's 2017 Endeavour Round will see 68 new scientific research projects receive funding of around $250 million over the next five years. No matter how you slice that, it’s some serious money. We pick our 10 favourites.

Map and Zap: automated and high throughput mapping and environment friendly, laser-treatment control of weeds

AgResearch Limited

3 years

$999,000

Could we one day trim weeds with lasers? The future is here, y’all.

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Flipping the paradigm: feeding methane to cows

Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited - Trading as GNS Science

3 years

$999,999

Do cows eat methane? How do you even eat methane? And where is the methane coming from? The cows?

So. Many. Questions.

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A fruit-fly screening model to accelerate development of species-selective vertebrate toxins

Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd

3 years

$999,999

This just sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi film. Fruit flies + toxins = probably nothing good.

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Magnetotactic bacteria for removing contaminants from manufacturing processes

Lincoln Agritech Limited

2 years

$1,000,000

Another one that just sounds cool. Super-powered bacteria that can clean things? This could go either very wrong, or very right.

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Machine learning for convective weather analysis and forecasting

MetOcean Solutions Limited

2 years

$500,000

There’s little question that machine learning is the future. And the sooner they can improve weather forecasting and analysis – especially as the effects of climate change increase at an exponential rate – the better for all of us.

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Reconstructing real world lights and reflectance models for Augmented and Mixed Reality

The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington

3 years

$999,999

With each passing day, augmented reality and mixed reality become more important parts of the real world. This project sounds like it’ll bring us closer to total integration one day.

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Advances in fermentation using underwater sound

University of Auckland

3 years

$999,999

Using sound underwater to ferment things? That’d be sweet to see.

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Discovering petroleum associated with buried volcanoes

University of Canterbury

3 years

$999,999

Combine petroleum and volcanoes, and what do you get? A potentially very explosive research project. Boom.

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NetStinky: Allowing Regular Users to Detect Compromised IoT Devices in Home Networks

University of Waikato

3 years

$997,182

 We’ve written before about how IoT devices can literally kill you. This is important stuff.

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ECLIPSE – Eruption or Catastrophe: Learning to Implement Preparedness for future Supervolcano Eruptions

The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington

5 years

$8,246,225

This is important, but we have a much better (and cheaper) idea: run.

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