IT firms grab tech cash

IT firms have grabbed almost a quarter of the funding awarded in a new government innovation fund.

IT firms have grabbed almost a quarter of the funding awarded in a new government innovation fund.

Launched last September by its agency Technology New Zealand, the Grants for Private Sector Research and Development scheme has awarded $10.5 million to 179 companies.

Manufacturing has taken almost a third at $3.1 million, followed by agriculture and fisheries at $2.4 million and information, electronics and communication $2.3 million or 22%.

Some three-quarters has gone to firms in upper half of the North Island, with Canterbury receiving $0.74 million and the rest of the South Island receiving $0.77 million. The Auckland region grabbed $4.86 million.

The GPSRD aims to encourage firms with a turnover below $50 million to increase their R&D spending. Support is limited to a third of the higher investment, to a maximum of $100,000.

GPSRD investment manager John Gibson says the scheme aims to help technical and technological risk takers.

"To be successful, applicants must clearly identify the 'technology gap' they are addressing. There needs to be a clearly evident technical risk or uncertainty, a measurable outcome, a methodical resolution of the uncertainty," he says.

Registration is via the internet at the Technology New Zealand website at www.technz.co.nz.

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