R&D spending by New Zealand businesses nudged $1.2 billion in 2012, a surge of almost 25 percent since 2010, Statistics New Zealand's latest figures show.
With that said, New Zealand’s R&D spend as a proportion of GDP remains lower than many other OECD countries, and has been static since 2010.
Government R&D expenditure actually dropped, but government funding of business R&D increased, while R&D within the higher education sector remained steady.
Nearly half of businesses expected to pay back their R&D investment within two years.
“The jump in business R&D is noteworthy in these latest numbers, and we've observed this across almost all industries,” business statistics manager Hamish Hill said.
"R&D can include a range of activities from ‘blue-sky’ research on tomorrow’s next cutting edge technology, through to development of new consumer products, or more efficient ways to produce them.”
The Research and Development Survey 2012 was conducted jointly by Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.