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Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation

Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation

The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce’s heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several senior scientists have spoken out against the Government’s direction in science and innovation saying the $633 million National Science Challenges are a waste of time and money.

“Steven Joyce is stifling innovation, starving it of funding, and misdirecting what funding there is into his projects rather than business and scientist-led research and development,” Dr Norman said today.

“National has stifled scientist-led innovation by directing hundreds of millions of dollars of scarce innovation funding into his own hand-picked National Science Challenges, instead of increasing funding to the highly successful, investigator-led Marsden Fund.

“National has stifled business-led innovation by replacing R&D tax credits with grants that his Ministry allocates.

“National plans to cut the overall research investment in real terms by 10.2 percent over the next three years and by 21.0 percent out to 2023/24, according to figures released in the Draft National Statement of Science Investment.

“The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.”

New Zealand only invests roughly half what most other developed countries do on research and development. The Green Party will build a smarter, more innovative economy with a $1 billion boost to government investment in research and development, including tax breaks for business.

“The Green Party will give scientists and businesses the freedom to research and innovate,” said Dr Norman.
“Innovation lies at the heart of a smart, green economy. Economies that innovate do better over the long term, creating good jobs that pay well.

“We will create a stronger system of R&D that mixes tax breaks for all companies with direct grants to steer the economy in a smarter, greener direction.

“We will work with R&D experts to design the delivery system, not control it centrally.

“Steven Joyce has placed innovation in a straitjacket. By putting himself at the center of a complex web of R&D funding, the Minister is denying businesses and scientists the opportunity to innovate on their own terms.”


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