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Labour will prioritise science and innovation

David Shearer
Science and Innovation Spokesperson

17 November 2011

Labour will prioritise science and innovation

Labour wants New Zealand not only to be seen as clean and green but also as a country with smart ideas that leverages the talents of its people to produce an export-led economy that is highly productive and innovative, Science and Innovation spokesperson David Shearer says.

“To do this Labour will increase commercial Research and Development by having a 12.5% tax credit to lift our lagging private R&D expenditure. It will benefit all companies that are doing R&D, including the small highly innovative ones.

“They are the ones who need a break who are missing out now,” David Shearer said.

“We will establish an Innovation Council chaired by the Prime Minister to prioritise science and innovation at the highest levels and provide the strategic leadership.

“To help New Zealand be world leaders in innovation we will fund our most accomplished and innovative scientists so they can build areas of science excellence that will attract the best internationally to this country.

“We will reinstate the post-doctoral scholarships to keep our best brains either in NZ or attract them back from overseas.

“We need to stop the brain drain and keep our best and brightest here. We can longer afford to train people only to have them go overseas because of a lack of opportunities here.

“But we must also encourage our young people to take an interest in science and to see it as a real career opportunity and we will do this by investing early in schools.

“Labour knows that we need to shape our own future, not simply rely on the prosperity of others.

“We are an inventive people but we have relied on a number 8 wire mentality to see us through.

“We need to capture the innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that is part of our psyche and make money from it,” David Shearer said.

ENDS

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