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Budget 2007: Big research investment to transform

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Research, Science and Technology

Big research investment to transform economy

A $73.7 million funding increase for research, science and technology over the next four years, along with $34.6 million in reallocated funding, will focus on transforming the economy by improving business performance and sustainability, Research, Science and Technology Minister, Steve Maharey, said today.

"This budget provides a further boost to science funding, including $46.6 million to drive business performance, and $28 million to improve sustainability and productivity. It includes a range of new investment in research areas like climate change, innovative technologies and foods, Antarctic research and Pastoral 21," Mr Maharey said.

This increase complements the tax credit for business research and development announced as part of the Business Tax Reform package, amounting to $630 million over four years, which further underlines the Labour-led government's commitment to research. The benefits will flow through to our scientists and research organisations as businesses invest more in R&D

The four-year investment package for R&D includes:

• Lifting business performance through R&D ($46.6 million): $18.6 million of Technology New Zealand grants and services to boost private sector R&D, $14 million for research into innovative foods, beverages and other new products and $14 million for enhancing emerging and high value technologies and services;
• Building science capability ($25.2 million): includes $16 million for Crown Research Institutes and $8 million for the Marsden Fund;
• Improving sustainability and primary sector productivity ($28 million): $8 million for climate change research, $12 million additional funding for Pastoral 21 and $8 million for research into increasing productivity and sustainability across primary sectors;
• Increasing global science collaboration ($7.3 million): $4.5 million over three years for Antarctic research as part of International Polar Year, and $2.8 million for boosting research relationships with Asia; and
• Evaluation of the R&D tax credit as part of the Business Tax Reform package ($1.2 million).

"These investments reinforce the government's sustainability agenda and move towards Labour's commitment to increase investment in research, science and technology in the order of $30 million a year," said Mr Maharey.

Note to reporters:
Funding for Vote Research, Science and Technology makes a significant contribution to the Economic Transformation priority of Lifting Firms' Innovative Capacity. Vote Research, Science and Technology's $73.7 million includes $60 million of the $67 million for Lifting Firms' Innovative Capacity in Budget 2007.

It also includes $4.5 million as part of International Polar Year, $8 million for climate change research and $1.2 million for evaluation of the R&D tax credit.

The remaining $7 million of funding for Lifting Firms' Innovative Capacity comes through Vote Economic, Industry and Regional Development for the 3D digital graphics cluster.


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