NZ startups and cybers get Budget funding boost

In its Budget due next Thursday, the New Zealand government will spend NZ$15 million on commercialisation programs, and NZ$22 million on cybersecurity.

Kiwi startups are in for an extra NZ$15 million of funding as the New Zealand government looks to promote more high-tech exports in its Federal Budget.

The money, spread over four years, will go towards boosting two schemes aimed at speeding up the commercialisation of research and tech companies, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said.

The Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund, which helps scientists turn research into commercial products, will get NZ$12 million of the sum, taking its total annual funding to about NZ$8 million each year. The other NZ$3 million will be spent on extending a three-year pilot program to fund new accelerators.

Earlier this month, the New Zealand government announced that NZ$22 million would be spent on the creation of a new national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). NZ$20 million is set aside for running the CERT, with the remainder allocated for setting it up.

The CERT is expected to be running in the first three months of next year, and will be a separate unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"Cybercrime cost our economy NZ$257 million last year and affected more than 856,000 New Zealanders," Communications Minister Amy Adams said at the time.

"Establishing a national CERT means New Zealand joins an international network of CERTs, improving our access to information on potential or real-time cyber attacks. It will help us play our part in a global effort to improve internet security."

The New Zealand government is set to deliver its Budget on May 26.

In the recent Australian Federal Budget, the Australian government showed where AU$195 million of the AU$230 million set aside for its Cyber Security Strategy would be allocated.

Defence will hand over AU$51.1 million over four years to pay for the relocation of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, find vulnerabilities in government systems, and conduct cyber assessments on Commonwealth entities.

For the Attorney-General's Department over four years, AU$47.3 million will be spent creating Joint Cyber Threat Centres and an online threat-sharing portal; AU$21.5 million will be set aside to expand CERT Australia; AU$10 million will be used for a security awareness campaign; and AU$2.0 million will expand the government's exercise program for cyber incidents.

The Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission will receive AU$20.4 million and AU$16 million, respectively, over four years to fight cybercrime.

With AAP