Bishop welcomes Callaghan Innovation budget boost in Budget
National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, Chris Bishop, has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that Budget 2015 will include another $80 million over four years to encourage more private sector research and development through Callaghan Innovation, based in the Hutt.
“This funding is equivalent to a 14 per cent increase in Callaghan Innovation’s R&D co-funding budget, and is in addition to the $566m committed over four years for R&D grants in Budget 2013.
“This new funding presents a big opportunity for companies in the Hutt Valley. Over 3,900 people across more than 825 Lower Hutt businesses are employed full-time in the high-tech sector, and the sector generates $473 million in GDP already. Lower Hutt has the fourth largest number of people in NZ employed in medium high-tech manufacturing.
Mr Bishop says the new funding is a big boost for the concept of “Technology Valley’ – where science, technology and high value manufacturing drive economic growth, new jobs and higher wages for Hutt residents.
Through the Business Growth Agenda, the National-led government is backing the Hutt’s science and technology focus, through programmes such as:
- Record investments in science and innovation – the Government’s total investment in science will amount to almost $1.5 billion in 2015/16 – a 70 percent increase in eight years
- New tax rules to encourage research and development
- The “Unlocking Curious Minds” fund which aims to get young students thinking and talking about science (launched at Boulcott School last year)
- Increased investment in engineering places, and promotion of engineering through the Education to Employment initiative
- Supporting the new engineering school at the WelTec Campus
- Funding a new ICT Graduate School in Wellington