Budget revises R&D grants

The government is revising its R&D grant schemes

The government will invest nearly $130 million into Callaghan Innovation to encourage businesses to invest more in research and development and to support new start-ups,

The bulk of the additional funding ($107 million) is part of the $400 million internally focused growth package announced in the Budget yesterday. The remainder is reprioritised from within Vote Science and Innovation.

An additional $98 million over four years will be added to Callaghan business research and development grant schemes, bringing the total funding from these schemes to $566 million over four years.

The government has also announced a revised system of grant schemes which are replacing the Technology Development Grants, TechNZ Project Grants, TechNZ Capability Grants, and Technology Transfer Vouchers.

Businesses which can show they have spent a minimum of $300,000 on R&D in New Zealand, and at least 1.5 percent of revenue spent on R&D over the past two years, will be eligible for the R&D Growth Grants.

After two years of funding, they can be re-assessed for a further three years funding. The cap on per annum funding will increase from $2.4 million to $5 million.

R&D Project Grants are targeted at firms with smaller R&D programmes and those that are new to R&D.

A public consultation paper will be released in June on a proposal to allow tax losses arising from R&D expenditure to be refunded up to a certain limit. It will be targeted at R&D-intensive start-ups.

R&D Student Grants will provide support for undergraduate and postgraduate students to work within R&D-active businesses.

The government is also investing $31.3 million over four years to provide repayable funding for start-ups to assist them to become ready for investment.

Science and innovation gets $200 million of new funding in the Budget. Total cross- portfolio funding rises from $1.24 billion to $1.36 billion.

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