Tuesday, July 16, 2024

R&D spending hits record levels

New figures has shown total expenditure in research and development hit record levels last year and has increased by 67% since 2016.

Minister of Research Science and Innovation, Ayesha Verrall said total R&D expenditure exceeded five billion dollars last year, covering the business, government, and higher education sectors.

Government investment has increased by $2.11 billion since taking office, the Minister said.

“The Government’s focus on R&D as a key driver of our economic growth is paying dividends.”

“The White Paper published last year for Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways programme sets out the aim to build a modern, future-focused research, science and innovation system that equips New Zealand to meet the complex challenges ahead.

“Ongoing investment in research and development grows the New Zealand economy. We will know we are creating impact when we have a research, science and innovation system that supports wellbeing for current and future New Zealanders, a high-wage low emissions economy, and a thriving environment through excellent research, science and innovation,” Dr Verrall said.   

The R&D Tax Incentive now has 1,779 businesses enrolled, with $265 million of tax incentive having been paid.

This has supported private sector investment in R&D of $1.77 billion so far, said Minister Verrall.

The Tax Incentive alongside other grants is leading to more R&D being undertaken by business. The stats show the business sector R&D spend grew by $1.5 billion compared with 2016 and accounted for more than half of total R&D expenditure in 2022, she said.

Firms’ spending on average rose 9% since 2021 to $1.3 billion and the number of staff working on R&D rose 12% to 21,000; while 44% of firms say they expect to increase the amount of R&D they will undertake in the next financial year.

“This is great news for our economy and is critical to our economic recovery and positioning our economy for the future,” Minister Verrall said. 

“The Prime Minister has signalled that science and technology would be a focus of the budget as part of our wider economic strategy to help improve the well-being and living standards of New Zealanders through better productivity, sustainability and inclusive growth.” 

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