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Cost and lack of management resources top barriers to innovation  Media release

26 March 2020

New Zealand businesses reported that cost and lack of management resources remain the top barriers to innovation, Stats NZ said today. These results come from the business operations survey, which reports on businesses with six or more employees.

Forty-two percent of businesses reported cost to develop or introduce innovation as a medium- or high-barrier to innovation, up from 40 percent in 2017.

“Innovation is part and parcel of business operations to create better goods and services. It is a key driver of productivity growth,” business performance manager Geraldine Duoba said.

About half of businesses carried out innovation activities in 2019, a similar proportion to that in each year measured since 2007. However, size is important, with innovation more prevalent among larger-sized businesses.

Innovation encompasses activities such as research and development (R&D), product design, and marketing, as well as other related activities such as prototyping or commercialisation of the developed product. Around two-thirds of innovation expenditure goes to R&D; 68 percent in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2017. Expenditure on marketing decreased from 15 percent of all innovation expenditure in 2017 to 10 percent in 2019.

The business operations survey for 2019 included questions on business operations, innovation, and international engagement. Businesses are surveyed on innovation every two years.