Small businesses with high value manufacturing research requirements have found out the six nationwide institutions that will redeem ‘technology transfer vouchers’.
The about to be introduced government scheme, administered by Technology NZ, is a $50:50 input for businesses without their own research and development capability.
Wayne Mapp, minister for what will be the Ministry of Science & Innovation in February, announced that in looking for an initial spectrum of providers, concentrating initially on high value manufacturing, the Ministry’s wanted to also provide a regional spread and type.
The six research organisations accredited as tech transfer voucher institutions are the University of Auckland, Industrial Research Ltd, The University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, The University of Otago and the only polytechnic, the Wellington Institute of Technology.
The scheme has an initial $20 million allocated over four years to spend on the vouchers, where co-funding investments of between $100,000 - $1m are expected, though averaging around $200,000. Mapp expects to be asking his cabinet colleagues for a greater allocation within the first year given the substantial interest already shown in the voucher concept.
Part of the new Ministry’s brief will be to evaluate the tech transfer voucher scheme, and the learning from that will inform the accreditation of a larger number of research organisations across more sectors Mapp said, in announcing the first up research institute recipients at Weltec, Petone.
Following 18 months of science-oriented reforms, in which a greater emphasis has been put on turning good ideas into globally scaleable products and services, Mapp said “we’ve created a threshold of expectations.”
“People are expecting government to do more in the science and innovation area, and see 2010 as a platform for the future,” he said. “We’ve raised interest, and are quite conscious that has been achieved.”
The web-based application for tech transfer vouchers starts on Nov. 1. Mapp said he expects requests for its available funding to be oversupplied.