Budget 2016 a big boost for Technology Valley
Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, has welcomed the package of increased funding for innovation in Budget 2016, saying it will boost the drive for the Hutt Valley to become “Technology Valley”.
The government’s Budget today contains the “Innovative New Zealand” package worth an additional $761.4 million over four years to boost science and technology, and encourage entrepreneurship, skills and economic growth.
The package includes $411 million for science and innovation, $265 million for more tertiary education and apprenticeship programmes, and $94 million to support regional economic development.
“My recent public meeting at the Mind Lab, attended by over 100 people, generated huge energy and showed there is genuine enthusiasm in the Hutt community for “Technology Valley. Today’s significant funding package is a great follow-up to the meeting,” Mr Bishop says.
“This increased funding is great news for Hutt Valley institutions GNS Science, WelTec, Callaghan Innovation, the Open Polytechnic, and local Victoria University institutes as well.
“The science increase includes funding for the Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund, which is about helping commercialise publicly-funding research, along with the Accelerators Programme to support the rapid formation of early-stage information technology and digital start-ups.”
Cross-government investment in science will reach $1.6 billion annually by 2019/20.
“I’m also delighted by the tertiary education package to boost science subjects, apprenticeships (5,500 more by 2020), and also engineering,” Mr Bishop says.
“Technology Valley has renewed momentum. The Budget package complements a number of other initiatives in the Hutt, including the Technology Valley working group, the upcoming STEMM Festival, funding for the Unlocking Curious Minds programmes, and continued R and D grant support through Callaghan Innovation.”
Budget 2016 contained a number of other packages which will support the Hutt Valley community. Click here for more information on the 2016 Budget.