First of new research vouchers awarded

  • Wayne Mapp
Science and Innovation

Auckland-based produce company Fresh Direct Ltd has been awarded the first of the Government’s new Technology Transfer Vouchers, Minister of Research, Science and Technology Wayne Mapp announced today.

Fresh Direct will use the $190,000 investment to work with Industrial Research Ltd to develop a new portable machine that will help process vegetables on the farm.

"This is a text book example of how R&D can help a business gain a competitive edge. By using technologically advanced machinery to handle vegetables, Fresh Direct will be able to increase productivity and reduce wastage,” Dr Mapp said.

“Science and innovation underpins economic growth. We need to lift the number of businesses that are keen to invest in R&D because it will support their growth. Technology Transfer Vouchers will encourage businesses to make R&D a funding priority.

“The vouchers will make it easier for businesses to get access to the research knowledge and expertise they need to realise a good business idea.

“The vouchers pay 50% of the cost of the R&D on a project. They will enable businesses to work with research organisations to bring together smart business ideas and high-quality research expertise,” the Minister said.

“We want to see more businesses making use of research organisations to get better synergy between the business and science communities.”

The Technology Transfer Voucher scheme was announced in the May budget with $20 million dollars available over four years, starting with $5 million in 2010-2011. It is part of the Government’s $321 million package to encourage business R&D.

Vouchers are intended for businesses with limited or no in-house R&D capability, and with well-defined problems or ideas that will benefit from the R&D expertise and services in a research organisation.

The Technology Transfer Voucher scheme is administered by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

For more information, go to www.technzvoucher.co.nz