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Source: Ara Institute of Canterbury

The New Zealand IRD has recently confirmed that Ara Institute of Canterbury Ltd has been granted ‘approved researcher provider’ status. This makes Ara the first ever ITP/Te Pūkenga subsidiary to have attained this.
The country’s recently-enacted Research and Development Tax Incentive law incentivizes businesses to undertake R&D by making the process considerably more affordable. The Incentive means that they are able to obtain a 15% tax refund on their expenditure when they work with an approved research provider. This is especially beneficial for businesses that spend less than $50,000 per annum and that would tend to require the services of an R&D partner.
Ara’s Research Manager Dr. Michael Shone is very pleased that Ara has become New Zealand’s first accredited ITP, saying “This recognition of our research capabilities at Ara is going to take us to a new level of collaboration with local industry. We’re now extremely well-placed to provide a range of research and development services, particularly for the engineering, ICT and medical sectors.”
Global public investment in research and development is slowing, and while private business has taken up some of the slack, it can be hard to motivate these organizations to undertake foundational science research without much chance of an immediate financial return. However, even in the face of this trend, there is reason for optimism within this country, as a 2018 report from the MBIE suggests that the country’s strongly developing start-up ecosystem paired with increasing rates of private R&D investment will over time have a positive effect upon New Zealand’s scientific output.
Darren Mitchell, Ara’s COO, comments that “In addition to widening the Institute’s revenue base, gaining accreditation from the IRD as a research provider is a great endorsement of our processes and the talent we have here. It is also an important way to maintain continuities between the classroom experiences of our learners, their work-integrated learning and the professional community that our graduates contribute to.”