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Science enterprises pleased with Budget

Science enterprises pleased with Budget

Commenting on the Budget, Mr Bryce Heard, President of the Association of Crown Research Institutes said:

"The Minister of Finance has announced an increase of $212 million in new money over four years, with an increase of $54 million in the coming financial year. This increases Vote: RS&T from $557 million to about $611 million - just under 10 per cent.

"A major part of that increase ($19.68 million) goes to Research for Industry (RFI).

"The Non-Specific Output Fund (NSOF) goes up $3.85 million to $32.3 million - more than 13 per cent.

"Money also comes in to help increased international science linkages. This will better plug us into the 99 per cent of science done outside of New Zealand and on which we are critically reliant.

"Overall, it is a meaningful increase in investment and the largest through Vote RS&T we have seen for many years..

"It is literally a vote of confidence in the ability of science enterprises and scientists to help transform New Zealand.

"It comes on top of increasing investment by the private sector in the past few years. The Government's step change this year challenges industry to continue with its increasing investment.

"In the past two years or so, New Zealand's science enterprises have been working more collaboratively with each other and with their sectors. This increasing investment reflects the growing confidence of both Government and the private sector in their research partners.

"For CRIs, our role is to ensure that New Zealand sectors are fully able to take on the world, armed with the knowledge, insights and global connectedness that CRIs can provide.

"We also have a role to challenge existing sectors with new ideas and possibilities, and seek to go beyond today's horizons. The discretionary funding element in NSOF is vital to that, and for enabling CRIs to commit to long term investment so important for excellent research.

"The science sector is very aware that these are scarce resources. That carries a responsibility to maximise our use of those resources for the nation. We have to be smarter than ever before in how we use those resources, and focus on targets and performance across the science, innovation and value capture continuum.

"Moves to develop, attract and retain the right people and skill mix needed in the innovation sector for today and tomorrow are also very welcome. New Zealand needs to be aware that we are already in a global war for talent, which we cannot afford to lose."

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