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MBIE is deferring the 2021 Unlocking Curious Minds


After careful consideration MBIE has decided to defer Unlocking Curious Minds for 2021.

This means that we won’t be running the normal call for proposals round for projects for 2021. This will be disappointing to many organisations who may be starting to develop new ideas.

We now better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the science sector and organisational priorities. We’re working closely with organisations to make sure that the funding and support we provide is fit for purpose in the current environment.

For many MBIE funded projects, including Unlocking Curious Minds projects, work has stalled or been delayed as a result of COVID-19. We want to give those project teams an opportunity to fully plan, execute and evaluate their projects before continuing with this investment.

For currently funded Unlocking Curious Minds projects, an extension on the timeframes for progress reports and delivery can be applied for by emailing

MBIE is committed to supporting science and creating A Nation of Curious Minds. While investment is paused we will consider how Unlocking Curious Minds can best support New Zealanders to experience and connect with science and technology from 2022 onwards. In the meantime funding will be used to support other priorities within the broader Curious Minds portfolio.

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