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Govt earmarks $321m in R&D grants, allocates $50m

Mapp dishes out $50 million in new grants under a $321 million scheme. Some of the choices may raise eyebrows.

Chris Keall
Mon, 15 Aug 2011

Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp has this afternoon announced $50 million in new Technology Development Grants.

The grants are part of a $321 million budget boost for research science and technology activities (the first round of grants, in December last year, saw $92.6 million go to 26 businesses.

While many would support the programme's broad goal of creating new jobs and wealth in the tech/knowledge economy areas, some of the specific choices may raise eyebrows.

Among the new crop of or recipients are the NZX-listed Xero, which recently bragged it had $16 million in cash, and NextWindow - now in the hands of Canadian owners - which gets just under $6 million.

Mitigating circumstances: Xero now employees around 100 staff, most of them based in Wellington. NextWindow's new owners seem to have left the company's Auckland office intact.

The grant was announced after the market closed. Xero shares [NZX:XRO] were flat at $2.40 today.

The full list (grants are handed out over a three year period and contingent on the recipients matching them with their own R&D spending):

Actronic:Electronic measurement and control products and software-productivity solutions such as hydraulic weighing systems.



Agility CIS:Advanced customer management systems for major utilities supplying electricity, gas, water and telecom services to retail customers



Ancare Scientific:Animal health products,  expertise in API sourcing, drug formulation, clinical testing, regulatory affairs and manufacturing



Argenta:Innovative products to improve the welfare of animals



Atlantis Healthcare Group:Design and implementation of patient support and adherence programmes



AuCom Electronics: Motor and machine performance; soft starters, motor control centres and medium voltage switchgear



BBC Technologies:Specialist sorting and packing equipment for the small fruits and vegetables industry globally




Buckley Systems: Precision electromagnets, ion beam physics hardware and high-vacuum equipment used in silicon chips and touch screens



Core Technology:Software solutions for business and IT departments



Energy Mad:Energy-saving light bulbs that replace incandescent and halogen bulbs and fittings



Mako Networks:Network management solutions for small businesses and branch offices



Nautech Electronics:Electronic equipment for aviation, marine, military, security and emergency services



NextWindow:Optical touch screen technology for major electronics manufacturers



Open Cloud:Real-time Telecom Application Server (TAS) for the management of person-to-person communications services



Rissington Breedline: Genetically superior sheep & cattle breeds and reliable supply chains for the farming and food industries

Rissington (Hawke’s Bay)


RJ Hill Laboratories:Laboratory tests for domestic and international markets



Technopak:  Hygienic bulk dry powder packaging lines for the dairy and pharmaceutical industries



Wherescape:Data warehouse planning software and support



Xero:  Online accounting software




Chris Keall
Mon, 15 Aug 2011
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Govt earmarks $321m in R&D grants, allocates $50m