The Callaghan Innovation Bill, which establishes a new high-tech HQ for manufacturing and services firms, today passed its third and final reading in Parliament.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says Callaghan Innovation will be a one-stop shop offering firms the business innovation support they need to lift their international competitiveness and in turn boost New Zealand’s economic growth.
“New Zealanders are great at coming up with smart ideas but we need to be more successful at translating those ideas into high-tech products we can sell to world markets. Callaghan Innovation will help get those ideas into the marketplace faster,” Mr Joyce says.
“As well as offering its own research and development and product-testing services, Callaghan Innovation will better connect firms with the significant but highly-distributed innovation expertise, facilities and new technologies that exist across New Zealand’s many research organisations.
“It will also manage the Government’s business R&D co-funding streams; build partnerships to maximise commercialisation opportunities; and develop global connections through which New Zealand companies can access international expertise and keep abreast of technology trends and market opportunities.
“The Government has set a goal of raising the amount firms spend on R&D from 0.54 per cent to 1 per cent of GDP, and we see Callaghan Innovation playing a critical role in helping to leverage that greater investment.
“It will focus on industries with high growth potential such as food and beverage manufacturing, agri-technologies, digital technologies, health technologies, therapeutics, and high-value wood products.”
Callaghan Innovation will be based in Auckland, Wellington (including the Hutt Valley) and Christchurch. The new Crown entity is named after the late New Zealand scientist Sir Paul Callaghan, who championed the role science could play in boosting economic growth.