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Businesses lifted R&D spending 34% between 2016 and 2018

Thursday 28th February 2019

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Businesses increased their spending on research and development by $548 million in the last two years to $2.15 billion in calendar 2018, Stats NZ says.

Business spending on R&D accounted for 55 percent of the total $3.9 billion spent last year and Stats NZ says it was driven by services industries where spending has tripled to $1.4 billion since 2008.

“R&D is about innovation and improving products or services. Its aim is to make businesses more profitable, efficient or reach new markets,” says business performance manager Geraldine Duoba.

“However, when a business performs R&D, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will always be immediate tangible benefits,” Duoba says.

R&D spending on computer services rose by $150 million, or 34 percent, to $586 million in 2018.

Government and higher education institutes accounted for the balance of spending with government lifting spending $126 million to $784 million and educational institutions lifting spending $83 million to $960 million.

Total R&D spending in 2018 was equal to 1.37 percent of GDP – the government has committed to raising this to 2 percent over the next 10 years and a new incentive framework was introduced in the 2018 budget.

Stats NZ says its 2019 survey will be sent to the business sector alone so it can measure the impact of the new incentives. It usually conducts the survey every two years.

(BusinessDesk)

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