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Do you have a well-defined research problem, and could you use some expertise?  From May 8th, any New Zealand not-for-profit can apply to The Metro ITP Voucher Scheme and receive subsidies of up to $5,000 in free research or consultancy assistance from the 6 largest Polytechs, known as the Metro Group.

How it works

Any not-for-profit organisation with fewer than 50 employees can apply by downloading the application form, outlining the problem, selecting a Metro Group member and applying for a research voucher.  If successful, Metro Group will match their expert staff with your organisation’s requirements and quote a price to complete the research.  Here’s how to apply http://metros.ac.nz/apply/

Vouchers can be used for ‘a demand-led research project, around a well-defined question or problem’, and there’s a particular emphasis on assisting the design, development or review of services.  Not-for-profit groups seeking voucher funding can be fully funded up to $5,000.  Here are some of the topics the scheme will supporthttp://metros.ac.nz/faqs/#toggle-id-2

More about the scheme

The scheme was designed to enable Polytechnics to work closely with industry to “achieve greater transfer of knowledge, ideas and expertise to industry and wider society”, and to benefit Polytechnic staff wanting to develop their capability and experience by working on commercial/non-profit projects and facilitate linkages within local businesses and community groups.  The vouchers can only be used with Polytech staff, but you can negotiate who you work with.  This is a new scheme, in its infancy, and is likely to benefit around 20 non-profits in its first year.  There are likely to be subtle differences between institutions – for example some have a rolling RFP programme, and others have set RFP deadlines.

The scheme has been run at Wintec for the last five years and is now being extended nationally through the Metro Group of Institutes of Technologies and Polytechnics (ITPs).

Read more about the Metro ITP Voucher Scheme here http://metros.ac.nz/