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Private sector R&D fund opens for business

Sunday 10 September 2000 Media Statement


Private sector R&D fund opens for business


The Government's new $11.8 million grants scheme to help firms carry out research and development opens for business on Monday.

The new fund is called Grants for Private Sector R&D and is managed by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Its aim is to increase the level of private sector R&D in New Zealand by co-funding new research projects.

"One of this Government’s priorities is to build greater levels of private sector involvement in R&D," said Minister for Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson. "We are determined to build a true knowledge society in New Zealand and research and innovation are essential to achieving that."

Firms wishing to apply for grants can register online from Monday at www.technz.co.nz. Successful applicants will receive up to 33 per cent of the costs of R&D projects, to a maximum of $100,000.

The fund is targeting small and medium sized companies. Eligible projects are those likely to have the greatest sustainable impact on a firm’s future R&D investments.

"Private sector R&D in New Zealand is only about 0.34 per cent of GDP. This is very low by international standards and we need to substantially increase business investment in R&D here," Mr Hodgson said.

"Wealth today is coming more from knowledge and ideas than from the production of commodities. This means the talent and experience New Zealanders have applied to primary production and processing must be applied increasingly to research and development. We have to convert the results of our academic and industrial research into value-added exports."

The new fund complements existing support for business offered by the Foundation. Total funds in its suite of schemes for industry – which includes Technology for Business Growth and Technology for Industry Fellowships – are now $36 million.

ENDS

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