Government backing ‘deep tech’ start-ups

Published: 08 April 2019

The Government will commit to a refreshed and more ambitious programme to back ‘deep tech’ startups after a review of the pilot Technology Incubator Programme showed it produced new business, jobs and investment.

The Technology Incubator Programme helps commercialise complex technology, largely the deep intellectual property coming out of public research organisations.

Having access to the right support, expertise and connections can make all the difference for startups, says Dr Peter Crabtree, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s General Manager of Science, Innovation and International.

“It can be a tough road creating productive businesses out of complex research like biotech and aerospace technology. The Technology Incubator Programme bridges that gap between concept and commercialisation."

Since 2014 the Technology Incubators have produced 45 new startups and attracted more than $50 million in private capital, making a strong case for continued Government investment in this scheme.

Dr Crabtree says it’s exciting to see the early successes of this pilot, particularly the increasing maturity in the early stage funding for startups.

“The Government is committed to increasing economy-wide spending on R&D to two percent of GDP, and a core part of this is backing our entrepreneurs to commercialise their research and products both here and abroad."

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s review recommended a number of improvements that will enable the Technology Incubators to achieve greater scale and stronger connections to local and global skills and investment.

Technology Incubators will also be encouraged to align with the Government’s wider priorities for an innovative and low-emissions economy.

Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s innovation agency, will continue to oversee and administer this high-impact programme that delivers on ambitions for startups, and will shortly begin the request for proposal process for Technology Incubators.

More information about the programme can be found on Callaghan Innovation’s website(external link). The Cabinet Paper outlining decisions around the refreshed programme is available on MBIE’s website.

Phone: 027 442 2141

Email: media@mbie.govt.nz(external link)