Govt issues $140m in R&D grants for Kiwi businesses

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New Research & Development Growth Grants worth more than $140 million over three years have been awarded to 31 high tech New Zealand businesses by Callaghan Innovation, as revealed by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

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, R&D Growth Grants 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.

Joyce congratulated the first businesses to receive Growth Grants, each of which he says are strong proven R&D performers.

“These companies have the potential to grow further and faster through the innovation this support will foster,” he says.

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.

All of the Government’s innovation support programmes are administered by Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s new High-tech HQ for kiwi 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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