New Zealand R&D investment driven by SMBs - Callaghan

21 Mar 18

Callaghan Innovation is welcoming the latest Business Operations Survey results showing Kiwi businesses are lifting their efforts in research and development (R&D).

Among other measures, the BOS results showed Kiwi firms spent $1.8 billion on R&D in 2017, a substantial 14% increase on 2016.

Furthermore, 14% more firms are engaging in R&D activities compared with 2014 -2016, most notably with small and medium enterprises.

Studies show firms engaging in R&D grow faster, with higher employment growth, and are more value-adding.

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency tasked with lifting business R&D investment and CEO Vic Crone says the results are increasingly clear.

“We’re really encouraged by the latest BOS results and the fact more businesses see R&D as a competitive advantage,” says Crone. 

“At Callaghan Innovation we’re in a great position to see first-hand the difference science, technology and innovation makes for our customers in global growth, revenue, and investment opportunities. 

“Whether scientifically proving claims, creating new sustainable products, or using super technologies to understand their customers better – R&D is significantly lifting business performance and job growth. 

“While these are great results we still have a way to go as a nation and are working with the Government to set a relentless pace.”

The Business Operations Survey by Stats NZ collects performance measures from New Zealand businesses to better understand the practices and behaviours they undertake that may affect their performance. Research shows a 1% increase in business R&D expenditure can result in a 0.04% increase in GDP.

Callaghan offers a range of research and development grants.

The Getting Started Grants are for companies in the early stages of R&D, the Project Grants are for businesses looking to increase their R&D investment, and the Growth Grants are for businesses which are experienced performers wanting to increase R&D investment.

Conversational AI startup Ambit is one of the most recent companies to have been awarded the Callaghan Innovation Research and Development Growth Grant.

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