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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Business R&D expenditure doubles between 2012 and 2019 – Media release

17 April 2020

In 2019, businesses spent $2.4 billion on research and development (R&D), twice that spent in 2012, Stats NZ said today.

Gross domestic product: December 2019 quarter showed that over the same period, current price expenditure measure GDP (expenditure measure – annual current prices) increased only one and a half times.

“Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their bottom line or to become better at what they do, and investment in R&D can help achieve this,” business performance manager Geraldine Duoba said.

“In 2019 businesses spent an average of $1.1 million on R&D, compared with $665,000 in 2012.”

Services businesses make up two-thirds of the total New Zealand economy (GDP) and include a wide range of industries such as construction, wholesale trade, ICT, and healthcare. Between 2012 and 2019, R&D expenditure by services businesses tripled to reach $1.5 billion, or 64 percent of total business expenditure on R&D.

Computer services businesses contributed one-third of total business R&D expenditure in 2019, up from less than one-fifth in 2012. Expenditure by these businesses tripled between 2012 and 2019, to reach $748 million. Information and communication technology supply survey: 2019 showed that over the same period, exports of information and communication technology services by New Zealand businesses more than tripled.

The 2019 R&D survey was conducted for the business sector only. The government and higher education sectors are surveyed every two years and will be included in the 2020 survey.

The Research and Development Tax Incentive came into effect for the 2019/20 April tax year. Businesses responding to the 2019 R&D survey were asked to report on the last financial year for which information was available as at August 2019. Data in this release therefore only reflects a part-year impact of the R&D tax incentive.