$140m in grants to high tech businesses

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 20:13 15/01/2014

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Research and development grants worth more than $140 million are being split among 31 high technology companies which operate in New Zealand.

The so-called Research & Development Growth Grants, provided by crown entity Callaghan Innovation, are for a three-year period. Under the scheme, up to $5 million co-funding will be provided each year to mid-sized and large New Zealand-based companies experienced in doing R&D.

Grant recipients announced today include some well known public companies such as Fisher & Paykel Appliances, F&P Healthcare, Scott Technology and Rakon, along with businesses that have lower profiles and are privately-owned.

The list also includes Endace Technology, which helps clients monitor vast amounts of internet traffic for security and traffic management. It began life at Waikato University but was bought by US Company Emulex Corporation last year.

Also on the list is Trans-Tasman Resources which is working on plans to extract iron sands from under the Tasman Sea, offshore from South Taranaki.

Among other recipients are companies that provide forestry planting stock, design and manufacture office furniture, operate in the healthcare field, develop software for use in salons and the entertainment industry, and develop farm animal drug delivery technology, 

Growth Grants funding was not dependent on businesses doing a particular R&D project, a Callaghan spokesman said.

Applicants did provide an R&D programme with key objectives, but that was commercially sensitive and could not be made public.

The amount received by each company could also not be made public, the spokesman said. That was partly because the funding was retrospective, with companies requesting funding each quarter for the equivalent of 20 per cent of the amount they spent on R&D in that period, the spokesman said.

Secondly, the amount companies spent on R&D was commercially sensitive, so Callaghan would not be able to say what the 20 per cent co-funding was worth.

To qualify for a Growth Grant, a business needs to commit to spend at least $300,000, and at least 1.5 per cent of revenue, on R&D undertaken in this country.

The Growth Grant recipients include: radio equipment developer 4RF,  geological modelling solution developer ARANZ Geo, BioDiscovery New Zealand which discovers microbes that enhance plant productivity, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, power wheelchair and scooter electronic control manufacturer Dynamic Controls, standby power supply manufacturer Enatel, Hamilton-based Gallagher Group, Jade Software Corporation, dairy biotechnology company Quantec, aerospace company Rocket Lab, commercial refrigeration company Skope Industries, wireless communication company Tait, and Wynyard Group which develops software which helps protect companies from threat, crime and corruption.

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- Fairfax Media

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