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NZ's R&D spending up 13% in 2010, still lags Australia

NZ's R&D spending up 13% in 2010, still lags Australia

By Jason Krupp

March 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand’s spending on research and development rose 13% last year, though the nation still under-spends Australia relative to its economy, suggesting a greater effort will be needed to close the economic divide through innovation.

New Zealand spent a total of $2.4 billion in 2010 on R&D compared with $2.2 billion in 2008, according to Statistics New Zealand's latest survey. The biennial study, a joint venture with the Ministry of Science and Innovation, measures the level of R&D activity, employment and expenditure by business, government departments and trading entities, and universities.

The survey found total R&D spending accounted for 1.3% of GDP last year, up from 1.2% in 2008. Australia’s spending on R&D accounted for almost 2% of GDP in 2006, the latest figures available In 2008, the OECD average was 2.3%.

Still, the 13% growth notably outstrips the equivalent 4% GDP growth since 2008.

Breaking down the numbers, university spending on R&D rose 23% to $802 million, business sector spending rose 10% to $1.01 billion, and government spending rose 8% to $629 million.

Funding of R&D from the government accounted for 46%, or $1.1 billion, of all R&D funding last year. The business sector funded 38%, or $940 million, with the relative proportion of funds by business compared with government falling when compared with 2008. The proportion of R&D expenditure funded by local universities and overseas sources was 8% and 5% respectively, with 2% sourced elsewhere.

Manufacturing accounted for the largest proportion of R&D at 18%, followed by the primary industry at 16%, health at 15%, and the environment on 12%.


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