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Taranaki Enterprises And Students To Collaborate On R&D Projects This Summer

Venture Taranaki, in partnership with Callaghan Innovation, is pleased to announce that R&D Experience Grants are back for 2021.

The R&D Experience Grant is a New Zealand-wide programme aimed at students studying technology, science, engineering, or design at a New Zealand tertiary education institute.

"The R&D Experience Grant is an awesome opportunity for students to gain valuable experience that is related to their studies, while supporting, accelerating, and injecting fresh ideas into local Taranaki enterprises’ R&D programmes," explains Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Justine Gilliland.

The grant covers the student intern’s salary across the 10-weeks which equates to 400 hours of full-time work per student. Enterprises allocate a mentor who will guide the student through their internship and provide valuable advice.

"This opportunity attracts bright students to Taranaki from around Aotearoa, as well as bringing local talent home, and matches their disciplines to our industry needs. Students are exposed to significant work experience in projects that are at the cutting edge of today’s economy. At the same time, enterprises can build their business capability through the students," says Venture Taranaki’s GM Enterprise, Michelle Jordan.

"The benefit for students and local enterprises is invaluable. It is a real win-win situation," states Michelle.

The R&D Experience Grant, which is now open and closes on 30 September 2021, will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis for enterprises that meet the criteria.

"We encourage enterprises with a R&D programme to apply early or to get in touch with Venture Taranaki to discuss your R&D related project and if a student intern will be right for your business," continues Michelle.

The Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grant not only give students exposure to important work experience but has led to offers of permanent work in Taranaki following the internship.

Jobhop, the award-wining digital platform that breaks down the barriers to work across New Zealand, offered their 2020/21 R&D Experience Grant student a permanent role after his internship.

"We're a small team with a lot on at once, so having Venture Taranaki's help to get this off the ground was invaluable. In addition, the intern we chose showed a lot of promise and seemed to be a great fit for our team," explains Jobhop Managing Director Gordon Heggie.

"We had a three-month R&D project that our student led and completed during his internship. The Grant is a great opportunity to get an injection of skills and talent from outside the business, and we were so happy with his work that we offered him a permanent role. So he's a part of our team now," continues Gordon.

Venture Taranaki has facilitated the R&D Experience Grant for over 10 years. In the 2020/21 intake, $330,363 worth of funding was allocated to Taranaki businesses to pay for the students' 10-week internship programme. The 2020/21 summer break also saw the highest number of interns funded through the grant with 35 STEM and design student interns placed across 31 Taranaki businesses.

"We are extremely proud to support this programme and support bringing outstanding talent to the region. It is an extra bonus when a local enterprise can retain that talent here in Taranaki," says Justine.

The R&D Experience Grant applications for Summer 2021/22 are now open and close 30 September 2021.

Enterprises interested in exploring this opportunity should get in touch with Venture Taranaki or visit

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