19 Jul 2012

Business R and D spending to measure institute's success

7:45 am on 19 July 2012

The Government says a key measure of success for its forthcoming Advanced Technology Institute will be a lift in business spending on research and development.

The institute will target the $38 billion per year manufacturing and services sector, with the aim to improve links between the mainly public research bodies and private sector to develop new, leading edge products.

The institute will have centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and as expected, the Industrial Research at Lower Hutt, will be part of it.

Minister of Science and Innovation Steven Joyce says the institute needs to work for business, but warns this is not a handout.

He says some of what Industrial Research has been doing in recent times is quite similar to what the Advanced Technology Institute is doing.

But Mr Joyce says that will be accelerated and more business lead.

He says in terms of performance the Government will be looking at the increase in business research and development alongside the ATI.

"So through some of the co-funding, through some of the assisting firms to find opportunities to grow, we hope to be able to show more firms a way in which they can lift their income and then their investment in R & D through working alongside the ATI and its partners, and I think that's the real opportunity".

Mr Joyce says one definition of success for the ATI will be what its business clients think of it and whether they perceive it as something very helpful in terms of developing their expertise, technology and innovation.

He says if businesses just see it as another government organisation then he will be concerned.

The institute will get $166 million over four years, and is expected to be up and running by the beginning of December.