Government goes to dark side for science

The Government announced something to the tune of $234 million in new funding for science and R&D initiatives this morning, initiatives that will be included in the Budget on May 20.

Businesses now have no excuse not to show some interest in R&D – there’ll even be a national network of commercialisation centres to help them translate their ideas into money-making ventures.

The Government also showed its taste for classic prog-rock reverting to Pink Floyd’s iconic Dark Side of the Moon cover for inspiration for its science and innovation strategy booklet. Check out the resulting artwork:

govt science

And the Floyd…


I wonder if it was the tune to Money, Us & Them or Brain Damage they had in mind?


  1. Alison Campbell

    Moving money from the health, social issues & environmental areas & giving it to business R&D… Somewhere along the line we still need to have the fundamental, basic, ‘blue-skies’ science.

  2. Grant Jacobs


    Similar thoughts. I wrote up these without seeing this post (or your comment). NZBio has pointed out the same in a media release, which I’ve cited. (Might write and ask about your TechNZ funding some time. I have no shortage of good projects, all going nowhere for a lack of funding…)

  3. Peter Griffin

    yeah bigcake, that’s the big question, how much appetite for the private sector spending on R&D will there be? At least they have to fill out some paperwork to get it rather than get their accountant to re-categorise spending which is what they’d probably do under a tax credit system…

  4. bigcake

    Yeah, but how much R&D money will the private sector be willing to commit? Budget leads the horse to water (again) but how much will the water-shy horse drink? That said Government intervention (cash) is the best short-term fix to this situation.

  5. Peter Griffin

    Seemed to be aimed largely at medium and large sized companies Anna. As you say, NZTE has been dishing out small grants to small businesses for years and that won’t change. But the network of commercialisation centres could be a useful thing to tap – though I’m not quite sure what they will do yet.

  6. Anna Sandiford

    Hmm. I guess there’s no issue about copyright breach?!

    As for the R&D investment, it all sounds great – but there doesn’t seem to be anything for the smaller business. My company could undertake a whole heap of R&D but we don’t make anywhere near as much as the figures mentioned in those documents in order for us to qualify. We do have TechNZ funding at the moment but being able to apply somewhere else to be able to push the project further would be great…any benevolent funders out there…?!

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