Innovation spend celebrated

1 Mar 2019

Increased spending on research and development by businesses is cause for celebration, says BusinessNZ.

New data from Statistics NZ shows a recent increase of around half a billion dollars over the last two years had brought firms’ total expenditure on research and development over to $2.1 billion last year.

The increase is significant because company-level R&D investment in New Zealand was previously lagging, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said.

“Over recent years business investment has been slightly less than the government’s investment in R&D, but the 2018 figures show business investment now reaching 55 percent of the total.

“Moreover, the business increase occurred alongside an increased R&D spend by government as well.

“It’s pleasing to see that business investment in R&D increased in all the major categories of services, manufacturing and primary industries.”

Kirk Hope said investment in innovation was critical for continued economic growth.

“It will be interesting to see future statistics for R&D spending, once the new regime for R&D assistance including tax credits and Callaghan Innovation support is fully bedded in.”