The 2015 budget has allotted up to $25 million over three years to support the establishment of new privately led Regional Research Institutes
“The proposed new research institutes would support innovation in regional areas outside of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by maximising the unique business, technology, and economic growth opportunities in a region,” said Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce, in a statement.
These institutes would be funded from a mixture of public and private sources and modelled along the lines of Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, which is a specialist not-for-profit institute for aquaculture, marine biosecurity, and coastal and freshwater ecology.
“We envisage funding the launch of between one and three new institutes over the next four to five years depending on demand,” he stated.
The regional research institutes and other additional funding in Budget 2015 will bring the Government’s total investment in science to more than $1.5 billion in 2015 and 2016, said Joyce.
“Since 2007 to 2008, this Government has invested more in science and innovation each year to help achieve stronger economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes for all of New Zealand,” said Joyce.
The budget also included an $80 million operating boost over four years to RD growth grants administered by the Callaghan Innovation. This will support innovative Kiwi businesses carrying out research and development by contributing 20 per cent of their RD programme costs.
PwC, meanwhile, welcomed the additional funding for the Callaghan Institute to support increased RD spend by New Zealand businesses.
“New Zealand’s future depends on continuing to foster and support the innovation across a range of sectors, both new and old,” said Geof Nightingale, PwC’s Tax and Private Business Leader.
“Innovation will also be supported by the creation of the regional research institutes, with an additional benefit of contributing to regional economic activity.”