Election 2011 - Party Policies - Science & Research

Election 2011 - Party Policies - Science & Research

Science and Research

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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. R&D in clean technology industries would be prioritised, specifically in areas where we enjoy a competitive advantage, such as: sustainable agriculture, organic farm production, fisheries management, forestry management, renewable energy generation, and conservation. (more here)
  • Supports 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.
  • 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. (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.

Not set out on their website.

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.
  • Investigate ways to increase the amount of privately-funded RST. Government policy is to reduce public funding of research that benefits industry, assuming that producers will contribute directly, but it can be difficult to attract industry funding for projects with a longer-term horizon from industry, as they often seek more immediate benefits in productivity.
  • Simplify the different funding mechanisms for research. These have been allowed to develop in an ad hoc manner over a period of time to fill perceived gaps, but the result is a system that has become inefficient and difficult to navigate. Ensure there is no duplication of research.
  • 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.
  • Increase the attractiveness of research as a career option and science PhD’s by reducing the costs of study, through our zero tuition fees policy, introducing bonding schemes that reduce student loan debt for those who are qualified in such fields in return for a continuous period of work in New Zealand, and establishing a system of research scholarships between tertiary providers and the private sector. (more here)

 

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