Election 2011 - Party Policies - Economy - Research & Development

Election 2011 - Party Policies - Economy - Research & Development

Research & Development

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Not set out on their website.

  • Boost government R&D funding through a combination of tax credits and grants costing $1 billion over three years. (more here)
  • Opposition to patents over life and genetic mixing across species barriers.
  • The retention, with Maori, of intellectual property rights in the development of study of Maori knowledge, in partnership with local Maori in the public science system.
  • 'Public good' research is split into base and contestable pools. Base funding to only be available to the public sector.
  • The Green Party will encourage the development of ethically acceptable technology by: equiring grant schemes to include sustainability as a key criterion for funding; creating an agency to dispense information about sustainable technologies; providing financial encouragement for the adoption of new technologies; encouraging the use of open source software; supporting agricultural and horticultural advancements without patenting of life forms; and  by supporting the development of genetic technologies based on ethical screening and the precautionary principle on a case by case basis, so long as they are contained within the laboratory and are not applied to food production. (more here)

  • Although Kiwis are an inventive people, our business expenditure on R&D is one-third the OECD average (0.54% of GDP). Such a low levels is a drag on New Zealand’s ability to innovate and grow. Countries similar in size to New Zealand like Finland, Singapore, Denmark and Israel put substantial emphasis on increasing R&D done by businesses. They receive significant government support. Only a handful of OECD governments do not give tax credits to stimulate business R&D. New Zealand is one of them.
  • Labour will restore the R & D Tax in our first budget. In doing so, we will also cancel any further grants through National’s three programmes, although those grants that have already been awarded will continue to be paid. Due to the constrained fiscal and economic conditions that Labour will inherit from the current National government, however, Labour does not consider it will be possible to restore the tax credit at its previous rate of 15%. Instead, the restored tax credit will be paid at a rate of 12.5% on all eligible R&D expenditure. This will cost around $30 million in the first year, rising to $200 million in year five (these costs are net of the savings from cancelling National’s grant-based initiatives). That comes to $800 million over 5 years ($160 million a year on average), which will be paid for by the savings from ensuring agriculture pays for its fair share of greenhouse emissions. (more here)
  • Labour will establish a scheme for better funding ‘brilliant’ scientists. Funding would be portable to allow scientists to take it to the most appropriate institution, purchase equipment, recruit staff and attract other world leaders in the field to New Zealand to create nodes of international expertise.
  • Labour will investigate options for creating a Gateway programme for science, whereby year 12 and 13 students taking science subjects and interested in a further career can get science based work experience at local CRI’s and participating private businesses. 
  • Labour will create an Innovation Council that will advise on policy at the highest level of government and business. It will be chaired by the Prime Minister and bring together the Ministers for Science, Finance, Economic Development as well as key industry players and research institutions. It will ensure that opportunities and priorities are recognised and resources allocated to act on them.
  • Labour will reform the Voluntary Bonding Scheme to allow teachers in the hardest to fill science subjects and schools to be eligible for Voluntary Bonding Scheme payments in their first year of work. (more here)

Not set out on their website.

  • Create and resource a real and virtual incubation hub for hapū and iwi to test the economic viability of new ideas on the local and global market and to mentor researchers.
  • Establish a priority investment fund for Māori Research and Development. We will promote collaboration between Māori entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators to improve opportunities, jobs and incomes. (more here)

Not set out on their website.

  • Develop a National Science Strategy that identifies New Zealand’s science needs and directions, resource and capability needs and international trends in the medium and long terms.
  • Increase government funding of Research, Science & Technology (RST) to at least the OECD average.
  • Review the scope and operation of the current range of Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), with particular regard to the balance between public good activity and commercial applications, and their relationship with other institutions such as universities.
  • Encourage national research specialisation, bearing in mind New Zealand's size, as well as specialisation by institution. (more here)



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