Pat yourself on the back, NZ: Almost half of New Zealand firms are innovating, more businesses trading with China

According to a report released by Statistics New Zealand today, total R&D spending in 2015 is up almost $200 million on 2014, bring the total spent in 2015 to $1.4 billion.

“The percentage of firms aiming to come up with better goods and services rose significantly – to a 49% ‘innovation rate’ in 2015,” senior manager Stuart Jones said.

“This means that almost one in two firms spent on improving products and processes, research and development (R&D), design, and new ways of marketing.”

The largest growth in R&D spending was for medium-sized firms – those with 20 to 99 staff. Their R&D spending grew 19% (to $434.6 million) compared with 2014.

Large firms (with more than 100 employees) invested almost $800 million in R&D, up 15% from 2014.

The survey also showed that experienced managers and high-quality goods and services were the keys to exporting for firms. Technical know-how, economies of scale, and lower input costs were seen as the least important factors.

While only 7.8 % of business reported trading with China in 2015, there has still been a 60% lift in exports of goods and services to China since 2011 (to $10.9 billion in 2015). Australia remained a key market for many New Zealand firms.

The top three destinations for firms selling goods and services overseas remained Australia (21.1 % of New Zealand businesses), the United States (10.7 %), and the United Kingdom (8.7 per cent).

Download the full 16 page report here

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).