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Budget 2004: Funding NZ's Global Research Links

Budget 2004: New Fund To Strengthen NZ's Global Research Links

The government is establishing a new research fund designed to help New Zealand scientists capture a bigger share of international research funding.

The International Investment Opportunities Fund is being set up with new money in Budget 2004. It will have $3 million available for investment in 2004-05, increasing to $4 million in 2005-06 and $5 million from 2006-07 onwards.

"This fund will be open to researchers who have the opportunity to participate in international research collaborations," says Research, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodgson. "It will help New Zealand research organisations to compete in the global market for funding, by giving them the chance to bring some matching funds to the deal."

Mr Hodgson said the fund would be a catalyst for increasing foreign direct investment in New Zealand's innovation system.

"I expect this fund to increase productivity in the science sector and help create more jobs in science, technology, and medical research. The longer term benefits will be seen in economic growth and employment as businesses take up the results of the new research, improving the quality and value of their products or services.

"New Zealand researchers are well respected and well connected internationally, so there are many opportunities for attracting more investment from overseas. The fund will also help local research organisations recruit top overseas researchers who are interested in working in New Zealand, by providing assistance for them to relocate here and establish research teams.

"This initiative will help increase New Zealand's global connectedness, a key theme of the government's Growth and Innovation Framework. It also responds to the Biotechnology Taskforce's recommendation for a scheme to assist in the relocation to New Zealand of overseas researchers with commercial experience."

The International Investment Opportunities Fund will be administered jointly by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Health Research Council.

ENDS

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