Government targets innovation-led growth to turbo-charge business potential

  • Hon Dr Megan Woods

Hundreds of New Zealand companies are set to benefit from the launch of two new grants aimed at fuelling firms that want to innovate, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says.

“This $250 million investment over the next four years is a sign of my commitment to some of New Zealand’s brightest businesses, and to turning our great ideas into building a higher-value, more sustainable economy,” says Megan Woods.

“I want to turbo-charge all the tremendous potential I see in our business ecosystem, by introducing grants to help out with the high costs and steep learning curves associated with R&D, and to provide an on-ramp to our existing R&D Tax Incentive.

“I also want to provide extra encouragement to businesses that are performing innovation that is new to the world. Now with a combination of the R&D Tax Incentive, and the new grants programmes, we will have a system of support that is much more representative of the full gamut of business activity we want to stimulate.

“As we continue our economic recovery from the challenges presented by COVID-19, we need to continue to foster and invest in innovation which we know creates huge value for society and is vital for addressing our social and global challenges such as tackling high emissions. Returns on fundamental research and development can take decades to materialise so it is right we take a long-term view.

“The R&D Tax Incentive now has over 1,500 businesses enrolled, with over $118 million of RDTI credits approved. This has supported private sector investment in R&D of over $788 million so far. This new investment is intended to further supplement private investment by funding innovative activities that might not happen – or happen to the optimal extent – without government support.

“We know innovation is the lifeblood of business. It leads to the creation of new higher-wage jobs and it helps our firms compete more effectively in the global marketplace, bringing down costs by improving efficiency and creating exciting new products and services. We need more unicorns,” Megan Woods said.

Notes to editors

Ārohia the Innovation Trailblazer Grant will help with the costs of activities that don’t fall within the definition of R&D and will be targeted at businesses that are pursuing opportunities that will generate significant spill over benefits to the wider economy.

    • The primary recipients will be businesses that are performing innovation that not only is new to the world but also has the potential to make a significant difference to the innovation landscape.
    • The grant will also be available to support businesses that are building platforms that enable other innovators to be successful.

The New to R&D Grant will support businesses that do not have established R&D capabilities and provide an on-ramp onto the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI).

    • This grant helps businesses with the high costs and steep learning curves associated with establishing a R&D programme.

Callaghan Innovation will administer the grants, which will be available from mid-September 2022.

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