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Funding On Track For Business Growth

Technology New Zealand has funded more than 142 R&D projects within business in the period July 2000 – January 2001, according to the latest figures just released on its Technology for Business Growth (TBG) scheme.

“At $12.5m, this is slightly ahead of where we were at the same point last year,” says Tony Hadfield of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, which administers the scheme.

“Despite this enthusiastic update, we still have TBG funding available for good R&D projects. Typically, this will help companies gain entry into new high value markets; ideally where this leads to high margin products, processes or services and also increases the technical capability of the business.”

Technology New Zealand, a government funding agency, has $36.5 million available pa to assist companies boost innovation and technological capabilities. Assistance ranges from identifying technical issues and technology problem solving, through to larger R&D projects and enhancement of companies’ skill bases.

An analysis of Technology New Zealand funding allocated in the year to date indicates that the majority of projects involve SMEs and, typically, they receive funding of under $25,000.

“New Zealand’s small and medium businesses make ideal ‘hot-houses’ for university students and researchers carrying out research under the Technology for Industry Fellowships scheme, and we are particularly keen to assist companies develop this link,” says Tony Hadfield. “This usually has a spin off effect in helping the company boost its revenues through innovation.”

Examples of projects funded by Technology New Zealand include developing inflatable sea kayaks, using GPS systems for agricultural purposes, creating earthquake-resistant buildings, isolating tannins in red wine, designing better yacht sails and breeding golden oysters.

In the six months since its launch in September 2000, Technology New Zealand’s newest initiative, Grants for Private Sector Research and Development, has notched up 143 grants approved, to a value of $8.6 million.

Full details are available on the website, www.technz.co.nz

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