Govt reveals 15 new tech firms in line for $13m Growth Grants

“These companies are a crucial part of our efforts to boost levels of private R&D spend in New Zealand and diversify the New Zealand economy."

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced the latest companies to meet eligibility criteria for research and development (R&D) Growth Grants administered by Callaghan Innovation.

Fifteen new companies will be able to increase their investment in R&D through $13 million in Growth Grants, which are aimed at bringing New Zealand’s levels of private R&D investment and innovation closer to those of our major trading partners.

Growth Grants meet 20 percent of the cost of an eligible firm’s R&D programme, with a total of 125 hi-tech companies already awarded Growth Grants worth up to $309 million over three years since the grants were introduced in Budget 2013.

In addition, 16 companies are currently receiving the predecessor Technology Development Grants.

“These grants are helping a large number of innovative companies that produce world-leading, high-value products and high-quality jobs for New Zealanders to invest in innovation, boost growth and increase exports,” Joyce adds.

“These companies are a crucial part of our efforts to boost levels of private R&D spend in New Zealand and diversify the New Zealand economy.

"Studies show business-led innovation is a key driver of economic growth and helps to ensure New Zealand companies remain competitive internationally."

Through these grants, Joyce believes high-value manufacturers and service providers will be able to innovate faster and grow further.

“That in turn will help lift New Zealand’s export revenues, job numbers, and the incomes of Kiwi families," he adds.

The latest companies to qualify are:

• Arrowhead Alarm Products Limited • CEREBRALFIX Limited • Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited • Crown Equipment Limited • Electropar Limited • Fiber Fresh Feeds Limited • Flintfox International Limited • Frogparking Limited • i-lign Limited • Kahne Limited • Mastip Technology Limited • Mesynthes Limited • TCS (NZ) Limited • Wherescape Software Limited • Wyma Engineering (NZ) Limited

R&D Growth Grants are an on-demand, non-discretionary scheme that enables qualifying companies to claim back 20 percent of their eligible R&D expenditure, capped at $5m a year.

To qualify, a business must commit to spend at least $300,000, and at least 1.5 per cent of revenue, a year on R&D occurring in New Zealand.

They must also be domiciled in New Zealand and maintain or increase their spending on R&D over the course of the funding. There are clawback provisions should a change occur that reduces the benefit to New Zealand.

Growth Grants are for three years but after two years, businesses can be granted a further two-year extension of funding, operating as one of a suite of business innovation services provided through Callaghan Innovation, which include R&D Project Grants for smaller companies and those new to R&D, and R&D Student Grants that give graduates the opportunity to work in innovative companies.

At present, a total of $566 million is available over four years to encourage the development of a strong business R&D ecosystem in New Zealand.

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