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Step change in New Zealand innovation

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for Tertiary Education
Minister of Research, Science and Technology

Step change in New Zealand innovation

Innovation and skills funding in Budget 2008 signals a step change towards a high wage-high skill future for New Zealand, Pete Hodgson, Minister for Economic Development, Tertiary Education and of Research, Science and Technology said today.

“As part of the Economic Transformation package, investments of $1.1 billion operating and $747.3 million in capital funding are designed to boost New Zealand’s productivity through innovation involving research, a quality tertiary sector and practical support for globally competitive firms. This includes announcements made earlier this year such as the $700 million New Zealand Fast Forward Fund, R&D tax credits and export support,” he said.

Highlights are (over four years unless stated otherwise):

• Support for tertiary education providers such as universities and polytechnics of $591 million in operating funding over five years and $15.5 million capital funding over four years. This includes $46.7 million in operating funding over five years for tertiary research excellence to boost the Performance Based Research Fund to $250 million per annum.

• $168 million for the New Zealand Skills Strategy and $130.8 million in operating funding and $24.4 million in capital funding to make tertiary education more affordable for students.

• Operating funding for the development of high tech research platforms of $24 million to help build new industries over the long-term in high tech manufacturing, ICT, new materials and sophisticated engineering

• Support for exporters with the NZTE Beachheads programme into China, India and South East Asia with an extra $8 million. Better by Design also receives $8 million to help firms increase their international competitiveness by integrating design into all aspects of their business.

• $32.5 million additional research funding for sustainable energy.

• Our valuable science collections will now be funded permanently costing $22 million over four years.

In addition, $95 million of capital is being made available to co-invest with tertiary institutions in new capital undertakings, to create a more systematic approach to capital investment. This $95 million is being set aside in contingency as the timing and nature of projects are yet to be determined.


ENDS

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