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$204 million boost for innovation

Hon Steve Maharey Minister of Research, Science and Technology

$204 million boost for innovation

The government will invest an additional $204 million in research, science and technology over the next four years, says Research, Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey.

"A strong investment in science and innovation is vital to New Zealand's continued economic success. This year's budget recognises the importance of innovation, with investments of $71.9 million to increase the competitiveness of key industries, as well as $47.8 million for infrastructure and development programmes for researchers and scientists."

The increase brings the total public spending on research, science and technology (excluding capital expenditure) to just on $600 million for 2005-06, a boost of over 56 per cent since 1999.

"The investment is a strong step forward that recognises research, science and technology as the key drivers of innovation in New Zealand's economy, and an important contributor to the health and wellbeing of our nation."

New funding over the next four years includes:

Funding for industry
- $41 million to expand Technology New Zealand – an initiative that supports business research and development
- $16.2 million increase to industry-based research through research consortia
- $14.7 million to expand Technology for Industry fellowships
Programmes for researchers and scientists
-$17.8 million in new capability funding for Crown Research Institutes
-$17.1 million to expand the International Investment Opportunities Fund
- $10.2 million in additional project funding for the Marsden Fund
- $2.7 million to increase the number of Fulbright scholarships
Other initiatives
- $70.2 million more for health research (announced pre-Budget)
-$6.6 million to improve access to environmental research for councils.

ENDS

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