The Government has announced a $50 million second round of research and development grants to successful high-tech businesses, with the biggest of the 19 grants going to Canadian-owned touch display maker NextWindow.

Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp announced the grants yesterday. They follow an initial $92.5 million commitment in December last year.

The grants are part of a Government plan to give $189.5 million in funding over four years to meet 20 per cent of the research and development spending by medium to large research-intensive firms which can show their activities result in wider benefits to New Zealand.

The largest grant announced yesterday was the $5.9 million to NextWindow, a company bought by Canada's Smart Technologies in April last year. The size of the grant implies NextWindow plans to spend almost $30 million on research and development over the next three years.


Other big grant recipients included Rod Drury's listed software company Xero which received $4 million.

* $5.9m - NextWindow: Optical touch screen technology.

* $5m - Ancare Scientific: Animal health products.

* $4.7m - Argenta: Animal welfare products.

* $4.3m - Mako Networks: Network management solutions.

* $4.0m - Xero: Online accounting software.

Amounts represent the maximum funding approved over a three-period.