Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Full of potential, poorly harnessed: MBIE on NZ science

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The inability of New Zealand's research, science and innovation sector to coordinate its efforts at home and abroad is the biggest challenge to lifting its performance, government officials say.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is seeking feedback on the government's draft research, science and innovation strategy. The "ambitious" agenda covers transitioning to a zero-carbon economy, supporting regional economic growth, protecting the environment, and creating high-value jobs.

It sets out an eight-year target to lift national research and development spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product from almost 1.4 percent at present. To achieve that, businesses will need to spend $4 billion a year on R&D, almost twice the $2.15 billion spent in 2018. Also, the government will have to lift its own spending to almost $3 billion from $1.6 billion currently. That excludes the cost of the new R&D tax incentive regime.

The document singles out weak connectivity as the key challenge facing the sector. That includes a siloed local research community, limited links between researchers and users of that research, and an insular focus on New Zealand - rather than international peers - as the frame of reference for researchers, innovators and institutions.

"Improving the fluidity of connections between researchers, public services, businesses and users of research will greatly improve the excellence and impact of our endeavours, leading to higher quality research, more innovative and dynamic businesses, and improved and effective public services," the report said.

"In particular, ensuring our research institutions face as few barriers as possible to sharing resources and infrastructure, both between each other and with other parts of our innovation system, will help them form a coordinated, dynamic network of research activity and support."

While New Zealand produces a lot of research, it's struggled to convert that into new products or services. New Zealand universities and public research centres file fewer patents than their OECD peers and other small advanced economies, typically indicating low rates of innovation.

The draft strategy proposes adding connections to the existing principles of excellence and impact to help guide future investment and policy decisions.

MBIE will have to re-examine some rules about how its system functions, the report says, including policies on open access to data and research and the incentives for researchers and innovators to connect and share freely.

The strategy plans to extend the government's technology incubator scheme to attract talent and help commercialise deep technology. It proposes a new policy approach to ownership, use, and licensing of intellectual property by research organisations to get the most social value out of public research.

It would also pursue deeper integration with neighbouring research and science systems, especially in Australia and Singapore.

The strategy would involve concentrating research and innovation to build scale and depth in particular areas. Aerospace, renewable energy and health technologies are identified as potential areas of focus.

Submissions close on Nov. 10.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: NZME 'In Discussions' To Buy Stuff

NZME confirms that it is in discussions with Stuff’s owners Nine and has put a proposal to the Government regarding a possible transaction. However, NZME notes that these discussions are preliminary... More>>

Consultation: Plan Of Action To Protect Seabirds

The draft National Plan of Action plan outlines the Government’s commitment to reducing fishing-related captures of seabirds, with clear goals and objectives, supported by an implementation plan. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Issues: Fairer Rules For Tenants And Landlords

The key changes include: - Limit rent increases to once every 12 months and banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords. - Improve tenant’s security by removing a landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement... More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Official Cash Rate Unchanged At 1 Percent

The Monetary Policy Committee has decided to keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 1.0 percent. Employment remains around its maximum sustainable level while inflation remains below the 2 percent target mid-point but within our target range... More>>

ALSO:

Food Prices: Avocados At Lowest Price In Almost Three Years

Avocados are at their cheapest average price since February 2017, with tomato, lettuce, and cucumber prices also falling, Stats NZ said today. More>>