Govt issues extra $59m in R&D grants to grow firms faster

Research & Development Growth Grants worth $59 million over three years have been awarded to 19 more high tech New Zealand businesses by Callaghan Innovation, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

R&D Growth Grants were introduced last year as part of changes to R&D funding designed to encourage more research and development to be undertaken by businesses in New Zealand.

They provide up to $5 million co-funding a year to mid-sized and large New Zealand-based companies that are experienced in doing R&D.

“These companies – who have already shown a significant commitment to R&D – have the potential to grow further and faster through the innovation this support will foster,” Joyce says.

“This new funding follows last month’s announcement of more than $140 million over three years for the first 31 companies under the new grants scheme. So far $200 million has been awarded to 50 high tech companies.”

The Growth Grants, an expansion of the previous Technology Development Grants, are aimed at encouraging R&D investment in businesses that show a commitment to R&D.

They provide 20 per cent public co-funding for qualifying firms’ eligible R&D expenditure, with an expanded cap of $5 million per annum – up from the previous scheme’s $2.4 million. After two years of funding, businesses can be granted a further two-year extension of funding.

To qualify for a Growth Grant, a business needs to commit to spend at least $300,000, and at least 1.5 per cent of revenue, on R&D occurring in New Zealand. R&D Project Grants are available for smaller companies and those that are new to research and development, while incubator support programmes assist start-up businesses.

The new Callaghan Innovation grants – R&D Growth Grants, R&D Project Grants, and R&D Students Grants – were announced in Budget 2013. A total of $566 million is now available over four years ($141.5 million a year) to encourage innovation through Callaghan Innovation’s business research and development grant schemes.

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