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Labour committed to science and innovation

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Research, Science and Technology
MP for Dunedin North

Monday 8 July 2002

Increasing support for science and innovation is at the heart of Labour’s drive to transform the New Zealand economy, says science minister Pete Hodgson.

Releasing Labour’s policy on science and innovation today, Mr Hodgson said Labour in government would keep building new partnerships in the research sector and continue to increase public science funding.

“Labour is proud of its record in science and innovation in the past three years,” Mr Hodgson said. “We have funded strong growth in basic science, made record increases in support for private sector R&D and created new partnerships such as the Centres for Research Excellence and the Biotechnology Industry Taskforce.

“We have increased the Research, Science and Technology budget by 18 percent, increased funding for Technology New Zealand and established the $100 million New Zealand Venture Investment Fund to accelerate the development of the venture capital sector.

“The policy released today commits Labour to further increasing basic research funding, Technology New Zealand funding, scholarship programmes and research consortium funding. Labour will also promote a further increase in private sector research, building on the progress made with the Grants for Private Sector R&D programme. We will continually review the relevant tax rules to ensure they are consistent with a vibrant, internationally focused innovation system.

“Labour recognises the limitations of purely contestable funding for research and will encourage a more co-operative funding approach. We will also continue to identify and address any remaining capital market or funding gaps in the innovation system, such as pre-seed funding and accessible stock options.

“Labour recognises the importance of collaboration in science and will promote deeper international linkages at all levels of New Zealand’s innovation system. We will pay particular attention to maintaining New Zealand’s world class capabilities in biological research, for example through the focus on biotechnology as a key growth sector in the Growth and Innovation Framework.”


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