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Scoop Audio – PM’s pre-Budget R&D announcement

Scoop Audio – PM’s pre-Budget R&D announcement


Farmers and firms will be the big winners in this year’s Budget with an extra $225m in science, research and technology funding, Prime Minister John Key announced today.

Key told a crowded room of reporters, researchers and Wellington businessmen at Te Papa this morning the Government would allocate a total $321m to the sector over the next four years.

Key said the money would focus on fostering research and development in the private sector and finding commercial applications for Crown research.

$189.5m would go to new research and development grants for large private firms, contributing 20 percent of their R&D budget over a three-year period.

The Government would not offer funding for specific projects as recipients would “know better than anyone where this funding would be best spent.”

Key said he believed the grants would lift New Zealand’s economy in a way that would cut down bureaucracy and avoid the inventive accounting that tax credits had generated.

The grants would likely appeal to high-level manufacturers, he said.

This would not replace project-based TechNZ grants but a further $20m would go to project-based vouchers for smaller firms to work with universities or Crown Research Institutes, for a value of up to $200,000.

Another $11m would go to creating a national network of “commercialisation centres” to find business applications for publicly-funded research, plus another $21m in new research facilities for food producers.

The Government had also spent $45m in researching agricultural greenhouse gases and allocated a further $5m over the next ten years, Key added.

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