Seminar for business to discuss R&D funding

Southland businesses will be told how to gain access to funding for research and development at a seminar this month.

Venture Southland is holding an information evening on November 22 to inform Southland businesses about the importance of success through innovation and how to obtain funding for research and development projects.

Special guest will be 2010 New Zealander of the Year Sir Ray Avery - a trailblazer who has been at the forefront of many innovative projects and ideas.

Technical adviser to the Fred Hollows Foundation, Avery designed and commissioned two state of the art Intraocular Lens Laboratories in Nepal and Eritrea. He also invented the Acuset IV Flow Controller, which was a finalist in the 2008 Saatchi and Saatchi World Changing Ideas Award.

Venture Southland enterprise services manager Alistair Adam said the evening would inform Southland businesses how to access Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry funding for new and continuing research and development work.

It was important that Southland businesses understood how to search and collaborate with experts from around the world, and how companies have succeeded in the past with the grants on offer, he said.

"Ultimately, the funding enables companies to progress their particular initiatives more quickly and cost effectively, which is greatly beneficial, as time is crucial in advancements in technology. Focusing on research and development builds knowledge and confidence and can unleash a businesses potential."

Venture Southland provides research and development advice and manages the grants and support available on behalf of MoBIE to Southland businesses.

Venture Southland aimed to drive Southland's innovative core to improve the region's overall economic, social and environmental performance, while also providing wider business support, Adams said.

Nicola Smith, chief executive of Essential Resources - a Southland business that has utilised MoBIE funding - will also talk at the information night at the Ascot Park Hotel.

Businesses that want to register should contact Venture Southland before November 16.

The Southland Times