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New $12 million biotech collaboration fund

New $12 million biotech collaboration fund

New Zealand biotechnology companies looking to build their business through increased collaboration with their Australian counterparts can now apply for funding out of a new, $12 million Australia-New Zealand Biotechnology Partnership Fund.

The establishment of the fund follows the signing of Australia-New Zealand Biotechnology Alliance on 04 June. Biotech is one of the fastest growing sectors of the New Zealand economy. Together, the Australia New Zealand biotech sector is the fifth largest in the world.

"Through the partnership, New Zealand biotech companies have a fantastic opportunity to increase trans-Tasman cooperation and collaboration and to have a much higher profile in the global market," said Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson. "This fund will enable New Zealand companies to accelerate levels of cooperation and investment with their Australian partners through joint development, manufacturing and marketing initiatives. There are already around 45 such commercial collaborations."

The fund offers assistance for:

• New trans-Tasman collaborative commercial ventures involving significant strategic alliances that increase access to, and competitiveness in, international markets. (Up to $1 million a year, per business);

• Collaborations between New Zealand and Australian businesses that open up new third market opportunities. (Up to $50,000 a year, per business);

• Commercial skills development including personnel exchanges between New Zealand and Australia. (Up to $10,000 a year, per applicant).

Money for the fund, to be administered by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), was provided for in the last budget.

Notes to Editors

The partnership fund has $12 million to invest in New Zealand-Australia biotech collaborations over four years. The fund is available only to New Zealand resident private and public sector businesses, including the commercial arms of Crown Research Institutes and Tertiary Education Institutions. To be eligible, they must have a clear objective of establishing commercial trans-Tasman partnerships.

The fund is designed to complement existing NZTE, Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST), Technology New Zealand and Health Research Council (HRC) programmes and services.

The fund can cover between 25 and 50 per cent of project costs and is conditional on applicants matching funding from private sector sources.

NZTE website at www.nzte.govt.nz/anzbpf

ENDS

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