Bioscience R&D spending slips

Spending on bioscience research and development hasn’t been on the same upward climb as R&D investment generally.

Spending on research and development by businesses in New Zealand nudged $1.2bn in 2012, up almost 25% since 2010, according to new data (here) from Statistics New Zealand.

Total spend on R&D across the business, government, and higher education sectors was more than $2.6bn, up 9% on 2010.

Government R&D expenditure dropped, but government funding of business R&D increased by more than 70%.

Almost $500m of the R&D spend was attributable to bioscience, but there was a drop of $24m from 2010.

Bioscience has applications in diverse fields such as health, animal and plant breeding, food manufacturing, and aquaculture.

The government sector contributed the most ($202m) towards bioscience R&D.

The business sector increased spending towards bioscience R&D to $111m, up from $90m in 2010 but the higher education sector’s contribution of $182m was down from $193m in 2010.

Primary industries R&D accounted for $457m of R&D spending in 2012, up from $397m in 2010. But it remained constant at 17% of the total.

Manufacturing, primary industries, and health are the top three areas of the economy to which R&D expenditure is targeted. This picture is unchanged from 2010.

Almost three quarters of manufacturing-focused R&D was performed by the business sector, $385m in 2012. Businesses also performed over 80% of information and communication services R&D.

The government performed the most R&D for primary industries, while most health-related R&D was performed by the higher education sector.

R&D personnel increased to 28,700 full-time equivalents, up from 27,100 in 2010. This increase was driven by the business sector, up 21% from 2010, and is seen across all occupation groups (ie researchers, technicians, and support staff).


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