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Govt. Grants Grow Innovative Businesses

26 June 2002

Technology New Zealand has approved over 500 applications from New Zealand businesses for more than $30million in grants for research and development, since its Grants for Private Sector Research and Development scheme (GPSRD) began in September 2000.

This year (July 2001 to June 2002) $17 m has already been approved through the GPSRD scheme, with the largest total funding going to businesses in the Auckland region ($8.m, or 49%), followed by Canterbury ($2.0m, or 11%).

John Gibson, GPSRD Investment Manager, says some regions, such as Manawatu and Waikato, which have had grants totalling over $1.7m each, are particularly strong innovators. He suggests this may be a combination of smart companies recognising opportunities, as well as seeing their neighbours succeed through application of R&D.

Mr Gibson says the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, which administers the GPSRD scheme, is looking at ways to improve its ability to support the fast-growing ICT sector. This sector received over $5m in funding from GPSRD over the past 21 months for research and development projects.

"GPSRD funds the technologically 'hard stuff', but not the marketing or commercial activities that are often a priority for the ICT area," he says.

Other technology sectors, which star in the $30m funding approvals, have been the high added-value manufacturing and automation area ($4.0m), agriculture, forestry and fishing technology ($2.9m), food, medicine and health ($1.7m) and biotech at $2.1m.

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