Incubators get jurisdiction to award cold, hard R&D cash

Business incubators will be able to give out R&D funding of up to $50,000 to high-tech startups.

Business incubators will be able to award R&D grants of up to $50,000 to high-tech startups under a plan announced today.

Accrediting incubators to provide R&D funding is one of several government moves to boost high-tech companies. 

The initiative will see New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Science and Innovation aligning their support for business incubators.

New Zealand’s eight incubators currently host about 120 ventures.

Science and innovation minister Wayne Mapp said this would give emerging high-tech businesses a hand up at a crucial time in their development

“We need a larger pool of high-tech startups so more can grow into globally competitive businesses that will lift New Zealand’s prosperity,” said Mapp.

“It makes sense for incubators to back up their existing support with research and development funding to help incubator firms improve their products and services.”

Steve Corbett, the head of Massey University business incubator ecentre, said the grants would enable startups to achieve product and market validation earlier. 

He said the move was evidence the government recognised the commitment and capabilities of New Zealand incubators.