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Review of govt science spend a great idea

Media statement Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review of govt science spend a great idea

The review of New Zealand's science investment announced today is an excellent initiative, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says.

"Science and research and development are absolutely vital to New Zealand's economic growth," said EMA's chief executive Kim Campbell.

"They result in the innovation of all types which drives productivity and determines economic growth.

"Minister Joyce is to be congratulated for introducing the review as well for ensuring the government's $1.5 billion investment is being made wisely and efficiently.

"Furthermore, though we pride ourselves on being an innovative nation New Zealand invests less than the OECD average on science and research.

"Business investment on R&D is just 0.58 per cent of GDP whereas the OECD average is 1.59 per cent.

"At present the government invests only $141 million in business R&D administered by Callaghan Innovation. This is just 10 per cent of the total government investment in science though manufacturing and IT alone account for substantially more than this in GDP to the nation's economy.

"The investment being made at present has some way to go before it aligns with the objective (in the Draft National Statement of Science Investment) of making New Zealand a destination for innovation."

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