The Government's commitment to investing in business and innovation was "all very positive", chief executive of WNT Ventures Carl Jones said.

"They've shown that they are really invested and interested in innovation and investing in innovation," he said. "I think it's all positive for us. It feeds through into potential commercial outcomes."

Mr Jones (pictured) said it was also good news that funding had been allocated to develop more regional research institutes.

"I always said that I think it's essential that we get one."


The Western Bay of Plenty's pitch for one of the initial three proposed new regional research institutes recently failed to make the shortlist.

"Bringing more highly skilled researchers and academics to the area can only be a good thing, so long as there are commercial outcomes on the back of it."

The challenge was to make sure the innovation coming out of the Bay was relevant in a global market as well as nationally, he said.

Part of the $94.4 million to support regional economic development would also include funding for the Regional Growth Programme and the Regional Business Partners Programme.

Science and innovation:

- $410.5 million for science and innovation, taking the Government's annual science investment to $1.6 billion by 2020.

- $256.5 million for more tertiary education and apprenticeship programmes, particularly in the areas of science, engineering and agriculture.

- $94.4 million to support regional economic development with initiatives to unlock business opportunities and benefit regional communities.