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The New Zealand government has announced funding amounting to NZ$321 million for new initiatives to lift science-based industries.

Of the total allocation of $321 million for new initiatives over the next four years, $225 million is new funding and $96 million is reprioritised funding, to be allocated out of 2010’s national Budget.

The centrepiece of the funding increase is a $234-million boost in support for business research and development over four years, according to a press release from Key’s office.

This includes:

  • $189.5 million over four years for technology development grants to support R&D in businesses that already do significant amounts of R&D
  • $20 million over four years to trial technology transfer vouchers, which will encourage links between companies and publicly-funded research organisations
  • $11 million over four years to support technology transfer from research organisations to businesses and commercialisation of new products and processes
  • $13.7 million over four years in contingency funding for initiatives to improve the transfer of technology from research organisations to the private sector

The other major new initiatives are:

  • $25 million over four years for the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships which will support early to mid-career researchers
  • $9 million over three years, starting in 2011/12 to attract top science entrepreneurial talent to New Zealand
  • $44.3 million over four years in contingency funding for proposed large-scale science infrastructure, subject to Cabinet approval.

Prime minister John Key says: “This government is taking investment in science seriously. This major investment will not only help keep New Zealand competitive, but is at the heart of our strategy to boost economic growth.”

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