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Record revenues and national capability achieved


CRIs achieve record revenues and build national capability

The nine Crown Research Institutes exceeded half billion ($512 m) in revenues for the first time in the 2001/02 financial year, and paid the Crown record dividends and tax of $50 million. Net surplus after tax was $9.66 million.

Overseas revenue was a record $47 million (up ten percent on last year), while revenues overall increased $29 million (exceeding last years $23 million revenue increase). Funding from the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology is reducing to leas than fifty percent of overall CRI revenue.

Staff numbers rose by more than 3 per cent (on a year on year basis) to 4,092 full time equivalents (some work is seasonal).

The dividends have provided half of the seed funding for the $100 million New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.

Anthony Scott, executive director for the Association of Crown Research Institutes (ACRI), said:

"The rise in staff numbers is encouraging: New Zealand's economic, social and environmental wealth will flow from science. However, science staff nationally are still paid below the general New Zealand market for similar sized jobs.

"People are the biggest asset of any nation and none more so than in knowledge areas which will fuel this nation's growth. CRIs are investing - prudently - in knowledge, skills and networks through competing for the world's best people, and providing such necessaries as fellowships and study grants."

One CRI notes that during the "disastrous five years before CRIs were formed" New Zealand lost 27 per cent of its science capability in some areas and science salaries suffered a 15 per cent reduction in real value.

By 2002, it had brought science staff numbers "nearly" back to 1987 levels; and restored the real value of science salaries. Meanwhile outputs, in terms of quality and quantity of research, have grown. Would that all sectors of our society were as productive!

In the ten years since formation, CRIs have grown shareholder value, as well as re-invested $160 million in national capability. A record of success in which each New Zealander can be proud.

ENDS

ACRI supports the common interests of the Crown-owned research companies, collectively the largest providers of science research in New Zealand. They contribute to the economic, environmental, social and knowledge wealth of New Zealand in diverse ways.

The CRIs undertake blue-sky, applied and commercialised science and technology research for government and private sector markets in New Zealand and abroad.

In addition to creating public benefits, particularly in the environment, they enable technology transfers to private sector and public organisations, where wealth is multiplied and distributed.

CRIs also provide the essential underlying capability in people, facilities and knowledge for the long term future of science and innovation in this country.

The CRIs are: AgResearch, Crop & Food Research, ESR, Forest Research, GNS, HortResearch, Industrial Research, Landcare Research, NIWA.

The CRIs published its paper Transforming New Zealand Through Science: concepts for a performance-based science system in August 2002. The concepts have the objective of maximising creation of value from New Zealand's scarce resources. See http://www.acri.cri/views/statements.shtml

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