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NZBio congratulates the Government

19 May 2005

NZBio Media Statement – for immediate release

NZBio congratulates the Government on a solid incremental improvement in funding for research, science and technology in this years’ Budget.

“The Government has made a significant investment of $41 million in Technology New Zealand, an initiative that supports business R&D,” NZBio CEO Brian Ward says.

“We also welcome the extra $16.2 million for industry-based research through research consortia, the additional $14.7 million to expand Technology for Industry Fellowships Programmes, and $58.4 million for regional and sectoral development.

“Supporting the biotechnology business community will ultimately strengthen New Zealand’s economic basis, and the increase in research funding will be very beneficial for companies wishing to commercialise technologies and improve their ability to innovate and compete internationally.

“Other good news for the biotechnology sector includes changes in taxation law that will see the removal of barriers to R&D investment, and temporary tax exemption on the foreign income of new migrants and New Zealanders who have been non-resident for tax purposes for at least 10 years and come back here to work.

“New Zealand’s biotechnology industry needs the best international talent available, and these measures will go a long way towards encouraging ex-pat Kiwis and new migrants to build their careers here.

“Although there is much to be positive about in this budget, if New Zealand is to realise its economic aspiration of being in the top half of Organisation Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, then a significant increase in research funding will be necessary. Both Government and industry must apply adequate financial resources to innovative business sectors such as biotechnology if this goal is to be achievable.

ENDS

Note to editors:
NZBio is the New Zealand Biotechnology sector’s industry body. www.nzbio.org.nz

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