Xero heads the tech queue as Govt puts $41m up for grabs

Research and Development (R&D) Growth Grants expected to be worth more than $41m over three years have been approved for 23 high tech companies by the Callaghan Innovation.

Introduced last year as part of changes designed to encourage more R&D by businesses in New Zealand, the grants provide 20% public co-funding for qualifying firms’ eligible R&D expenditure, with an expanded cap of $5 million a year – up from the previous scheme’s $2.4 million.

To qualify for a Growth Grant, a business needs to commit to spend at least $300,000, and at least 1.5% of revenue, a year on R&D occurring in New Zealand.

The Grants are for three years, but after two years, businesses can be granted a further two-year extension of funding.

“These are innovative companies producing world-leading, high-value products and high-quality jobs for New Zealanders,” says Steven Joyce, Science and Innovation Minister.

“They are all proven businesses that have committed to investing in R&D in this country.

“The Growth Grants will help them increase that investment, which will drive their growth and increase exports.”

The latest companies to be approved for R&D Growth Grants are involved in a wide range of products, from accounting software, robotic walking devices to high tech trampolines, including Xero.

In total 88 companies have now been approved for R&D Growth Grants estimated to be worth about $262 million (excluding GST) over three years.

Callaghan Innovation also operates R&D Project grants for smaller companies and those that are new to Research and Development, and R&D Student grants to give graduates the opportunity to work in innovative companies.

Since February last year, Callaghan Innovation has approved funding across all three programmes for 702 different hi-tech companies.

The Callaghan Innovation Grants system was announced in Budget 2013, replacing and expanding an earlier programme with a total of $566 million is available over four years to encourage the development of a strong R&D ecosystem in New Zealand businesses.

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