Excerpts of letter to Open Parallel from a Manager of Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) – New Zealand

March 1, 2013

Dear Mr Erdody


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has now completed the assessment of expressions of interest (EoI) received from organisations wanting to participate in the SKA Pre-construction Phase.

All submissions were subjected to the following two-step assessment process:

  1. Technical peer review performed by senior personnel from
  • the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and
  • the Royal Society of New Zealand

2. Further review by an Evaluation Panel comprising representatives of

  • New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • the Department of Internal Affairs and
  • MBIE (Science Investments branch and the People, Science & Enterprise Policy branch)


There was very close alignment between the overall scores and rankings assigned by peer reviewers and the evaluation panel.

Key outcomes of the evaluation process were:

  • The optimum Pre-construction Phase engagement for New Zealand organisations would focus on the Science Data Processor (SDP) work package
  • The following submitters should be invited to apply for government co-funding:
  1. Victoria Link Consortium, led by Victoria University of Wellington (VUW)
  2. New Zealand SKA Open Consortium, led by Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
  3. Open Parallel Limited
  • New Zealand organisations participating in the Pre-construction Phase should take a NZ Inc. approach (i.e. a single unified consortium)

MBIE endorses the outcome of the EoI review process and will invite the above organisations to submit a detailed funding application, while encouraging invitees to develop a single collaborative proposal if it is practical for them to do so.


Applicants should note that any co-funding will be contingent upon the following:


  • Confirmation that the applicant is a member of the SDP work package consortium appointed by the SKA Organisation
  • Confirmation that the applicant has delivered (or will deliver) the proposed contribution
  • Restriction of total co-funding to NZ$1.58 million