NZ government pumps NZ$401 million to keep R&D going post-COVID

The funding will come through the federal government's Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The New Zealand government has announced it will be investing just shy of NZ$401 million to help entrepreneurs continue with research and development while the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods said the funding will come through Budget 2020 and the federal government's COVID Response and Recovery Fund.

"COVID has created a global economic crisis and while New Zealand is in a much better place than others to weather this and recover, we also need to make smart choices about what we want that recovery to look like. This funding will help secure and create jobs for New Zealanders," she said.

The funds will be divvied up so that NZ$150 million will be invested into short-term R&D loan scheme to ensure businesses can continue to maintain their R&D programs; NZ$196 million will be used to provide continued funding for its Crown Research Institutions, which are charged with conducting scientific research; and AU$33 million will be used to support Māori to partner with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to make further investments in their research, science, and innovation priorities.

Another NZ$12 million will be allocated to the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases to support custodianship of collections and databases determined to be important to New Zealand, and a further AU$10 million will be allocated to assist the government's innovation agency Callaghan Innovation to maintain R&D in-house.

At the end of last year, the New Zealand government topped up the kitty for the New Zealand Technology Incubator program with an extra AU$9 million over three years to further support businesses looking to scale up and commercialise their ideas.

Woods said at the time the amount would be on top of the existing NZ$25.5 million that was allocated in the 2019 Budget to the New Zealand Technology Incubator program.

The Technology Incubator Program is headed up by Callaghan Innovation.

"Callaghan Innovation has a great track record of supporting successful startups," Woods said at the time.

"And as the government's innovation agency, their incubator programs have produced 45 new startups and attracted more than NZ$50 million in private capital, making a strong case for continued government investment."

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