$321m science boost announced

Research, science and technology will be a major recipient of funding with the Government pumping $321 million into the sector in next week's budget.

Prime Minister John Key announced today the funds have been allocated for new initiatives over the next four years, of which $225m is new funding and $96m is reprioritised.

"The budget will focus squarely on building faster and sustainable economic growth - it's the only way we can create the jobs, higher incomes and the better living standards New Zealanders deserve," Mr Key says.

"Research, science and technology will help us achieve that goal."

Mr Key said the funding includes a $234m boost for business support and development over four years.

This includes:

- $189.5m for technology development grants to support R&D in businesses that already do significant amounts of R&D

- $20m to trial technology transfer vouchers, which will encourage links between companies and publicly-funded research organisations

- $11m to support technology transfer from research organisations to businesses and commercialisation of new products and processes

- $13.7m in contingency funding for initiatives to improve the transfer of technology from research organisations to the private sector

The other major new initiatives are:

- $25m over four years for the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships which will support early to mid-career researchers

- $9m over three years, starting in 2011/12 to attract top science entrepreneurial talent to New Zealand

- $44.3m over four years in contingency funding for proposed large-scale science infrastructure, subject to Cabinet approval.





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