I just wanted to post a link to an article by Shaun Coffey about the common rationale behind increasing our R&D investment. Being the CEO of IRL he of course slotted in a couple of examples of value added products/ technology from the IRL success story list.
It is well known that NZ’s current 1.1% GDP investment in R,S & T is currently insufficient to stimulate the required economic growth compared to the OECD average of approx. 2% GDP (translates into approx an extra $1 billion/year) and the leaders of the pack such as Finland, Japan and Sweden investing almost twice this. Despite this inadequacy I am actually quite buoyed regarding NZ’s hopes. NZers have come from a history of entrepreneurship, albeit on the farm and with the lack of international business acumen, but it has translated into a society that has learnt to ‘do more for less’. This has even extended into our research labs with our scientists branding the “We don’t have the money so we have to think” motto ( thank you Mr Rutherford ). Based on this culture embedded within the Kiwi DNA I believe in order to move to this knowledge based/ value added economy we can most likely do so with less investment than predicted (<2.2% GDP). The current estimates (the 2.2%GDP mark again) are simply based on doing it comfortably. However while it seems like a daunting figure to meet, it does serve as a great beacon to stimulate urgency and hopefully drive the required investment out of public and private sources.