Government gives $92m to firms for R&D

By Christopher Adams

The Government has awarded $92 million worth of research and development funding through its new Technology Development Grant programme.

The money will be paid to 26 companies over the next three years.

Announcing the grants in Christchurch yesterday, Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp said the scheme was about "backing winners".

Those winners include medical device manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which will receive a maximum of $7.2 million, and high-tech crystal maker Rakon, set to get up to $7.08 million.

F&P Healthcare chief executive Mike Daniell said the grant would be helpful for the company's research.

"[The funding] will be contributing to R&D programmes in our respiratory and acute care business, and our obstructive sleep apnoea business," Daniell said.

Rakon marketing manager Justin Maloney also said the Mt Wellington-based company's funding boost would be used to accelerate R&D programmes already under way.

"We think it's going to be a great opportunity to increase our spending on R&D, on the one hand, and then the pay-off for that is to increase revenue and get some more market share," Maloney said.

Wellington visual effects company Weta Digital will receive up to $7.2 million through the scheme.

Auckland-based Endace - which develops technology that measures, monitors and protects high-speed networks - was awarded $6.7 million.

"Research and development is the lifeblood of Endace and we're thrilled to see the Government recognising and supporting organisations that have proven track records in creating and monetising Kiwi intellectual property," said Endace chief executive Mike Riley.

Other grants went to Dunedin engineering company Scott Technology and Serato, an Auckland firm that develops software for DJs.

Mapp said: "These companies are trailblazers in their commitment to innovation."

The Technology Development Grant programme is part of the $321 million in new science, research and development funding declared in this year's Budget.

- NZ Herald

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