R&D rising but greater acceleration needed

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods welcomed news that total R&D spending across New Zealand grew by $758 million to $3.9 billion, or 1.37 percent of GDP.

The Research and Development Survey 2018 released yesterday by Statistics New Zealand shows business expenditure on R&D drove the growth, increasing by more than half a billion dollars over the past two years.

“It’s great to see business innovation growing, and I’m particularly pleased to see business R&D spending increasing by $548 million,” says Megan Woods.

“A key priority for the Government is to raise the level of R&D spending to 2 percent of GDP over the next 10 years, and increasing business R&D expenditure plays a vital role in meeting this target.

“While R&D spending has increased to 1.37 percent of GDP, there is still work to be done to reach our 2 percent target. To support this we will be introducing the R&D Tax Incentive in April, enabling more businesses to undertake R&D.”  

“The R&D Tax Incentive will have a broad reach across our economy – from start-ups to established R&D performers – to encourage businesses of all sizes and scales to undertake R&D.”

“Lifting the amount NZ businesses are spending on R&D will help diversify our economy by encouraging new industries and companies to innovate, move further up the value chain and deliver higher wages for Kiwis.

“Businesses spending a minimum of $50,000 on eligible R&D will receive a 15% tax credit. An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 businesses will be able to benefit from the new R&D tax incentive.

“The Tax Incentive is part of a wider economic strategy to help improve the well-being and living standards of New Zealanders through better productivity, sustainability and inclusive growth.

“Callaghan Innovation will continue to work with their customers on Growth Grants to transition them smoothly onto the R&D Tax Incentive, as well as encouraging uptake of the scheme to all businesses,” says Megan Woods.