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Greater science investment to grow NZ wealth and wellbeing

17 May 2018

Greater science investment to protect and grow New Zealand wealth and wellbeing

Anthony Scott, chief executive of Science New Zealand, the peak body for the Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), says the investment in science research announced today will help protect the environment, grow New Zealand’s national and regional prosperity, and enhance New Zealand’s contribution to global issues such as climate change, food security and digital science.

The R&D Tax Credit, at 12.5% relief for companies’ spending over $100,000 on R&D per annum, will amplify investment of science-based innovation in both existing and new sectors. It signals that innovation can happen anywhere and produce benefits beyond any single company.

The Green Investment Fund will complement this by accelerating private sector investment into new strands in the economic matrix. These are just as likely to emerge from existing areas of economic strength as CRI science research opens new opportunities for innovators. The Provincial Growth Fund also recognises that great ideas can be developed locally and add to the national wealth by building regional prosperity and wellbeing.

The additional funding for environmental protection, pest control, biosecurity, and the primary sector is essential to protecting and growing the economic base throughout the country. These areas are deeply personal to New Zealanders, and part of our national identity. Each area is producing science-based solutions and innovations that are being translated into global opportunities for New Zealand firms. CRIs partner with firms around New Zealand and know the potential is unlimited.

The science cooperation agreement with Singapore highlights that New Zealand is a highly-valued niche player. We must leverage benefit from that expertise and our global connectedness. Data-based science is key to the future of science, and the future foods work promotes the skill and track record of New Zealand in food innovation.

The National Research Information System, receiving $10.1 million over four years, is a significant initiative. We are working with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on this project. It should improve information on New Zealand’s capabilities, streamline reporting and lower compliance costs so that more of the research dollar is spent on research that makes a difference for New Zealand.

ENDS

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