Xero and Next Window get R and D funding…hooray!

Date: 7th August 2011

A second $50 million round of research and development grants has been announced by the government, benefiting a total of 19 tech companies in fields from manufacturing to biotechnology, electronics and software development.

The lion’s share was awarded to Auckland-based, Canadian-owned touch-screen display pioneer Next Window, which will receive $5.93 million.

Other major recipients included accounting software firm Xero, which is to get $4 million; animal health specialist Ancare Scientific ($5 million); Argenta, which develops animal welfare products ($4.7 million) and Mako Networks ($4.3 million).

Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp announced the Technology Development Grants yesterday, following an initial $92.5 million commitment to 26 businesses in December last year.

He said they emphasised the importance the government attaches to research, science and technology.

“The only way we can create the jobs, higher incomes and better living standards New Zealanders deserve is through building faster and sustainable economic growth,” he said.

“To that end, it is vital that high-tech, exporting companies maintain their competitive edge in global markets.”

The scheme was originally announced as part of Budget 2010, providing a $321 million boost to R&D. The government plan involved awarding $189.5 million in funding over four years to meet 20 percent of R&D spending by medium to large research-intensive firms that can show their activities result in wider benefits to New Zealand.

The latest series of GST-exclusive grants range from between $300,000 and $5.9 million. They are valued at 20 per cent of the R&D spend of each business, up to a maximum of $2.4m per year for three years. The final amount each business will actually receive depends on their actual R&D expenditure.

Companies with average annual revenues of at least $3 million a year and average annual R&D intensity (eligible R&D expenditure divided by revenue) of at least five percent over the past three years are eligible for the grants.

Brett O’Riley, deputy chief of executive business investment and innovation at MSI, says the support will allow companies to keep on doing what they are good at: developing and exporting innovative and profitable products and services.

Full list of recipients on idealog Article written by Esther Goh

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