Posts Tagged ‘Callaghan Innovation’

A change in Govt funding policy – but perhaps not before Apple gets a $25m bite

There’s only so much money in the Government’s science funding pot so it’s always worth keeping an eye on how much will be in the pot and who gets how much of it to do what.

At Fairfax’s Stuff site, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has confirmed the Labour, NZ First and Green Government will be reintroducing research and development tax credits.

Under the scheme, companies wanting government money to keep up with technology trends will no longer need to apply for grants from Callaghan Innovation.

Instead they will have the option again of claiming back a credit for privately funded research.

This was portended by Labour’s campaign commitment to a 12.5 per cent tax credit for research and development.

According to the Stuff report (HERE) –

The National Party axed tax credits when it was elected in 2008. They were replaced by Callaghan, which handed out $113 million in grants to hundreds of businesses last year.

Woods did not outline any specific changes to come for Callaghan and, prior to the election, said her party was not proposing any, despite criticising National’s system as “bureaucratic” and “picking winners”.

This week she said she would be meeting with respective government officials – likely from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Callaghan – to discuss a roll-out plan for the scheme.

Woods said Callaghan occupied a “really important space” in the innovation industry and more businesses undertaking research and development would be a “huge cause for celebration” for the agency.

Business leaders seem to be welcoming the change.

ManufacturingNZ executive director Catherine Beard said businesses would happily welcome back tax credits, especially those that did not fit Callaghan’s criteria for growth or project grants.

However, she said the Government should ensure that applying for the tax rebates involved little paperwork.

And –

The Manufacturers’ Network (previously named the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association) chief executive Dieter Adam said it was great to see tax credits return.

But he was concerned that if Labour was only in government for one or two terms, the credits could easily be axed again by the opposition.

“That would be a huge waste,” Adam said.

The Taxpayers Union, meanwhile, is critical of money being dished out under one of the the old Government’s funding programmes.

Union executive director executive director Jordan Williams says the world’s most profitable company is set to receive up to $25 million a year in corporate welfare grants, thanks to Callaghan Innovation’s ‘growth grant’ programme as a consequence of Apple buying  PowerbyProxi, a major recipient of the R&D grants.

Williams said:

“First it was money for Larry Ellison’s Oracle, then French company Gameloft, and now Apple is getting in on the action. Our Government’s corporate welfare schemes make New Zealand a laughing stock. We pay for R&D and don’t even require the results to stay in New Zealand.”

“Designed in California, funded by Kiwi taxpayers. Anything that results from the R&D ends up in the pockets of Apple’s shareholders. It’s nuts.”

“Callaghan Innovation is trying to defend the grants by pointing out that they couldn’t have known the business would be bought by Apple. But that’s mischievous. Korean giant, Samsung, has owned a substantial equity stake since 2013.”

Advertisements

Callaghan student grants breaking records

Callaghan Innovation has approved the 2017/18 round of Student Experience Grants, with 139 businesses to offer 358 students paid work over the summer break.

A record 179 businesses applied for 418 internships

Since Callaghan Innovation was established in 2013, 274 different companies have been approved for an Experience Grant. As a result, over 800 students have undertaken an R&D Experience placement.

The grants support undergraduate students studying science, technology, business, engineering or design to gain valuable work experience during the summer student break. They provides funding of $18 an hour for up to 400 hours of work.

The programme is available to businesses of any size that have a focus on research and development. More information is available HERE.

Two new appointments to Callaghan Innovation Board

Two new appointments to the Board of Callaghan Innovation have been announced.

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith said the appointments of Stefan Korn and George Gong bring a strong combination of strategic thinking skills and perspective from an investor community.

Stefan Korn is an entrepreneur, business strategist and investor with more than 10 years of experience in managing high-growth ventures, early-stage investment and software development. He was a member of the Callaghan Innovation Stakeholder Advisory Group, is a founding investor in Lightning Lab, and has a PhD in Neural Networks/Artificial Intelligence and an MBA in International Business.

George Gong is an entrepreneur and Angel Investor with international business experiences in the Information Technology industry for more than 20 years. In 2016 he started Zino Ventures, the first Chinese angel fund in New Zealand.

Both appointments are for a term of one year.

Tech Futures Lab partners with The FoodBowl to foster food innovation

Tech Futures Lab and The FoodBowl have partnered up to provide access to practical knowledge and expertise on food technology and innovation through the Master of Applied Practice – Technological Futures.

This initiative complements the recent partnership between Tech Futures Lab and Lincoln Hub to provide an optional agritech focus to candidates enrolled in the November 2017 intake of the programme. Candidates will gain access to a diverse network of industry leaders and first-hand experience in the future of the food and beverage industry.

The agritech focus spans the entire supply chain from farming to exportation.

Advancements in technology are fundamentally changing how New Zealand produces, packages, commercialises and exports food and drink.

FoodBowl is part of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network.

The Auckland-based, commercial-scale pilot plant enables food and beverage companies to develop, test and prove their initiatives.

Jointly owned by Callaghan Innovation and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, the facility is focused on advancing the operations of start-ups and established organisations to develop sustainability and innovation throughout New Zealand.

Through the Master’s programme, candidates will have the opportunity to work with The FoodBowl and its industry partners for four weeks during the immersion phase of the programme.

Sarah Hindle, Tech Futures Lab General Manager, says partnering with The FoodBowl the agritech option of the programme will expose candidates to a variety of topics around the future of food and farming and gain access to industry leaders, enabling them to develop their own ideas and project.

“Our programme has been designed from the ground up to ensure it is flexible, applied and is driven by the individual, whether they are looking to enter a new sector or innovate within their organisation.”

The agritech option of the Tech Futures Lab Master’s programme is available for the November intake. Places are limited and applications close October 30.

The industry-backed programme covers topics including emerging and disruptive technology, new business strategies and how to embed innovation in an organisation.

A special free seminar is being held at Tech Futures Lab tomorrow, focusing on food, beverage and agritech.

Callaghan Innovation welcomes two new board members

Callaghan Innovation chair Sue Suckling has welcomed incoming members George Gong and Stefan Korn to the board, to succeed outgoing board members Alison Barrass and Richard Janes.

George Gong is an entrepreneur and angel investor with more than 20 years’ business experience in the information technology industry. In 2016, he started Zino Ventures, the first Chinese angel fund in New Zealand. Mr Gong has strong connections to China, where he began his career and  co-founded Beyondsoft.

Stefan Korn has been a member of the Callaghan Innovation Stakeholder Advisory Group and  runs CreativeHQ, a leading business incubator that works with more than 190 start-up ventures and was a founding investor in Lightning Lab.

Callaghan Innovation is the Government’s business innovation agency, connecting businesses to the networks, capability and funding they need to translate their ideas into products. It boosts business R&D through more than $140 million a year in grants.

Science gets more Budget funding – but there other snouts in the innovation trough

The word “science” popped up twice in the Budget speech (HERE) delivered by Finance Minister Steven Joyce today.

Hopes would have been raised by Mr Joyce being a former Minister of Scienc and Innovation and of his mentioning his first Budget’s investment of $1 billion over four years “in sustaining the strong economic plan that is getting New Zealand to grow”.

First, he said, the Government is allocating $373 million in the second round of its Innovative New Zealand programme.

Good-oh. That’s where the science money comes from.

Let these words from the Budget speech explain it:

“Innovative New Zealand is a series of science, R&D and skills initiatives that are working together to lift the innovation activity of New Zealand companies.

“The funding includes $82 million for the Government’s pre-eminent applied science fund – the Endeavour fund; $132 million for Tertiary Education to ensure young New Zealanders obtain the skills we need; and $75 million for Callaghan Innovation’s R&D grants to help our tech companies succeed.

“It’s all about adding more value to our export volumes. Investment in innovation is hugely important for lifting our productivity and providing for our future prosperity.”

The two mentions of science can be found in the first of those three paragraphs.

Mr Joyce went on to say $134 million over four years was being allocated to advance New Zealand’s Trade Agenda 2030, including opening new embassies in Dublin and Colombo, “as we work towards our ambitious target of having 90 per cent of goods exports covered by trade agreements”.

There is $304 million towards the ongoing development of our screen sector, and $146 million in new funding to grow our tourism infrastructure around the country so every region can benefit from the growth in our tourism industry.

The Budget speech also mentioned $93 million in new Maori development initiatives, including $10 million to support the development of Māori tourism, and $17 million for Māori housing initiatives.

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith on May 10 announced the additional $74.6 million in funding through the Innovative New Zealand programme in Budget 2017 (HERE) to meet the growing demand for Callaghan Innovation’s research and development (R&D) Growth Grants.

Today he made a further announcement (HERE), fleshing out Mr Joyce’s mention of an additional $81.9 million of new operating funding over four years to support high-impact, mission-led programmes of science through the Endeavour Fund.

The new funding lifts the Government’s total investment through the Endeavour Fund, New Zealand’s largest contestable science fund, to $829.2 million over the next four years.

The Endeavour Fund complements the Government’s other investments in mission-led science.

“Budget 2017 demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to delivering on the vision set out in the National Statement of Science Investment, to create a highly dynamic science system that enriches New Zealand, making a more visible, measurable contribution to our productivity through excellent science,” Mr Goldsmith said.

The Budget adds $255.6 million over four years of funding for science and innovation, growing total Government investment in science and innovation by 26 per cent from $1.32 billion in 2015 to $1.66 billion by 2021. This builds on the $410.5 million investment through Budget 2016.

The Government is investing $4 million of new operational funding over four year to help reduce emissions.

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett said this money will be spread across government (thinly, dare we say) to come up with costed, tested and modelled policy options to meet its Paris Agreement emissions target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The Emissions Trading Scheme is being reviewed.

Other announcements included $18.4 million over four years to strengthen biosecurity systems and protect our borders.

Budget 2017 provides an extra $74.6m to further grow business R&D

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has announced an additional $74.6 million in funding through the Innovative New Zealand programme in Budget 2017 to meet the growing demand for Callaghan Innovation’s research and development Growth Grants.

The additional funding means a total of $657.2 million is now available over four years through the Growth Grants programme.

The new funding follows on from the $761.4 million investment in Budget 2016 through the Innovative New Zealand package and continuing investment in science and innovation over recent years.

New data released earlier this year by Statistics New Zealand showed a significant increase in the sums Kiwi companies are spending on R&D. In the two years to 2016 business R&D increased by 29 per cent and Callaghan Innovation grant recipients increased their own R&D spending by 46 per cent.

Growth Grants were designed to provide a predictable, rules-based platform for businesses to increase their investment in R&D and encourages the development of a strong business R&D ecosystem in New Zealand.