Prime Minister welcomes focus on innovation

Wellington – Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the release of the Building Innovation report – the second of six progress reports to be released under the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. Mr Key launched the new report at a business breakfast in Wellington this morning with Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams.

Mr Key says, “This report gives a clear picture of the more than 50 policy………. initiatives the Government has underway to improve innovation, competition and the commercialization of smart ideas and research into new products”. One of the targets included in the report is to almost double the amount businesses spend on research and development – from 0.54 per cent of GDP to more than 1 per cent of GDP. Mr Key says, “Building innovation is central to building a more competitive and productive economy, one of the National-led Government’s four main priorities for this term”.

Earlier this year the Government announced we will invest $166 million over the next four years to create a new Advanced Technology Institute to build better linkages between scientists and businesses. Today it was announced the Advanced Technology Institute will be named after the late Sir Paul Callaghan, which is a fitting tribute for this outstanding New Zealander and eminent scientist. Mr Key says, “Sir Paul championed the idea that science could make New Zealand a better place. He believed science was not only about great ideas, but about getting value from those ideas through innovation and commercialisation”. Mr Key says,“I would like to thank the Callaghan family for allowing us to honour his memory by naming the Institute after him”.