SI^NZ recent funding success with the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI) 2020 science investment round

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A number of SI^NZ members have enjoyed recent success in securing funding from the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI) 2020 science investment round. SI^NZ members received four of the fifteen new Seed project awards for 2020. Each of these four projects was awarded approximately $200k in funding, totalling nearly $800k.

Michael Homer, Craig Anslow and Jens Dietrich (all from Victoria University of Wellington) received funding for a project that aims to design a novel method to automatically synthesise regression tests to accurately describe faults from error stack traces and logs.

Steve Reeves (University of Waikato) funded project will aim to develop and use technologies that will mirror how Māori knowledge is best maintained.

Sherlock Licorish (University of Otago) and Amjed Tahir’s (Massey University) funded project aims to develop a code quality model and build an exhaustive repository of code snippets from online portals to help predict the quality of code snippets that are publicly available.

Amjed Tahir and Jens Dietrich’s project aims at investigating tests with non-deterministic behaviour (i.e., flaky tests), and develop a novel technique that is able to identify and predict such tests.
Given the potential overlapping interests and the involvement of multiple SI^NZ members in several projects, it is expected that there will be collaboration between members working on these different projects.

The SfTI is one of eleven National Science Challenges that was launched in 2015. It is a 10-year, multi-million dollar government investment aimed at growing a future high-tech New Zealand economy, leveraging the very best research in physical sciences and engineering for long-term economic gain. The Seed project fund is intended to bring in new ideas and new researchers to the SfTI community. Seed projects are smaller, high risk, technically complex projects based on ideas developed by researchers themselves.

SI^NZ Deputy Chair Stephen MacDonell is the Challenge Deputy Director and Theme leader for Data Science and Digital Technologies. For more information on the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge see

SfTI media release about the awarded projects for the 2020 round is available here: