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Big demand for Government's R&D grants

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced up to $1.5 million will be made available to enable 126 businesses to employ students for work experience in New Zealand’s hi-tech sector.

The money has been made available through Callaghan Innovation and will be used to hire up to 233 Kiwi students over the 2015/16 summer break, Joyce explained in a statement.

“R&D Student Experience Grants allow students with science, technology, engineering, design, or business qualifications to advance their skills and understanding of commercial R&D within New Zealand companies,” explains Joyce.

“The Government is investing in these grants to help keen, qualified Kiwis obtain work experience in New Zealand’s fast-growing hi-tech sector. The companies also gain by employing smart, ambitious young people to help advance their R&D projects,” he says.

Some of the projects to be funded this year include the development of harvesting handling systems for fruit, novel organic solvent technologies for agricultural chemicals, software development for virtual reality content production software development to improve the accuracy of GPS fleet tracking, and improving the nutritional benefits in dairy products for lactose-intolerant consumers.

Changes are currently being made to a related Grant Scheme that supports businesses to hire a new graduate on a permanent basis, Joyce says.

“Callaghan is developing a process that better matches businesses with graduates who have completed their study,” he says. “An improved, on-demand R&D Career Grant will be available later this year.”