GNS Science (Māori: Te Pū Ao) is a New Zealand Crown Research Institute. It focuses on geology, geophysics (including seismology and volcanology), and nuclear science (particularly ion-beam technologies, isotope science and carbon dating).
GNS Science was known as the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences from 1992 to 2005. Originally part of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), it was established as an independent organisation when the Crown Research Institutes were created in 1992. As part of that process, GNS Science was semi-commercialised, and now operates as a government-owned company rather than as a government department. This change led to greater autonomy, accompanied by greater emphasis on financial viability. This is essential in the corporate environment, especially for the purchase and maintenance of research equipment and infrastructure, because the New Zealand public science funding system doesn't normally provide grants for these purposes.
As well as undertaking basic research, and operating the national geological hazards monitoring network, GNS Science is employed, both in New Zealand and overseas, by various private groups (notably energy companies), as well as central and local government agencies, to provide scientific advice and information.
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