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Private Sector R&D In Good Shape

technology nz figures for new scheme- note regional and localised $ amount invested breakdown at bottom of story.

MAY 4 2001

Innovative businesses are getting a shot in the arm from the new Grants for Private Sector Research and Development scheme, with around $1.5m per month being invested in private sector R&D projects.

More than $10.5 million has been allocated to 179 companies in the seven months since the scheme was launched in September last year.

John Gibson, GPSRD investment manager, says he is pleased with the interest from businesses. “We’ve provided funding for R&D across a number of sectors and right throughout the country, which is pleasing to see,” he says.

The manufacturing sector is an early leader in taking up R&D funding through the GPSRD scheme. Manufacturing companies make up 31% of the allocation, at around $3.3 million, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing ($2.4m, or 23%), information, electronics and communication ($2.3m, or 22%), and engineering at $1.7m, or 17%.

Businesses in the upper half of the North Island account for over 75% of the funding allocated so far.

The GPSRD scheme supplements other Technology New Zealand funding initiatives , which are also administered by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. GPSRD is intended to encourage businesses with a turnover of less than $50m to make a stronger commitment to investing in R&D. Support is limited to a third of a business’s increased investment in R&D, to a maximum of $100,000.

Mr Gibson says the scheme is designed to help technical and technological risk takers. “Companies facing other types of risk already have access to investors and sources of funds whereas technology risk takers often have only their own resources to rely upon.

”To be successful, applicants must clearly identify the ‘technology gap’ they are addressing. There needs to be a clearly evident technical risk or uncertainty, a measurable outcome, and a methodical resolution of the uncertainty.”

GPSRD is the first of the Technology New Zealand schemes to operate exclusively via the Internet, with initial registration through its website, www.technz.co.nz.

-ends-

* For more information:
John Gibson, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 04 917 7863
www.technz.co.nz

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Localised/regional breakdown as follows:
(Rounded figs at end April)

Auckland $4.86 million
Central North Island $2.99 million
Southern North Island $1.15 million
Canterbury $0.74 million
Other South Island $0.77 million

And, in more detail:
Auckland $2,607 K
Manukau City $1,620 K
North Shore $400 K
Waitakere City $231 K
Waikato $1,480 K
Western Bay of Plenty $476 K
Poverty Bay, East Coast $24 K
Taranaki $757 K
Hawke Bay $257 K
Manawatu $565 K
Wellington $585 K
Canterbury, Westland $738 K
Nelson and Marlborough $136 K
South Canterbury $291 K
Otago $234 K
Southland $112 K


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