Repayable government grants of up to $450,000 per company are being offered to start-up technology companies in a bid to accelerate New Zealand innovation initiatives.
Minister for Science and Innovation Steven Joyce, announced that $31.3m will be injected to the scheme over the next four years.
The funding offered to these New Zealand start-up companies will cover costs that derive from commercialising and developing intellectual property1.
The Government led initiative is intended to bridge the gap between meeting the costs needed for start-ups at a critical point where more often than not, there is a lack of investors committing capital.
The manner in which the repayable grants will be distributed has been modeled on an Israeli initiative which sees a private sector technology incubator include 25% of their own funding alongside the start-up costs.
Who is eligible to apply?
Those eligible for a repayable grant will demonstrate elements of the following:
- An IP and capital focused product or service
- Entrepreneurial ability
- Technology that demonstrates a complex and novel innovation
- Commercial viability
- High-value, international export opportunities
How can you apply?
Firms will first need to apply through technology-focused incubators, who in turn will approach Callaghan Innovation on behalf of their start-ups. These technology-focused incubators nurture IP2 and complex technology ideas before establishing a business structure. Such an incubator is motivated by R&D and its ability to foresee the true value of the complex technology or IP in order to maximise profits as a market-based initiative.
It is within the jurisdiction of Callaghan Innovation as the crown entity administering the funding to make grant decisions according to their assessment of the start-up and their fulfillment of the outlined criteria.Assessment of a start-up technology firm's eligibility will be conducted using a points system (similar to the systems already used by Callaghan Innovation and NZTE to assess grants).
When will funding be available?
Over the next few months, Callaghan Innovation will be lining up technology incubators able to receive funding on behalf of their start-ups. It is expected that funding will begin being distributed by mid-2014.
We will provide further information on this scheme and the technology incubators able to receive funding as more details become known.
1Refers to the ownership of an intangible thing - the innovative idea behind a new technology, product, process, design or plant variety, and other intangibles such as trade secrets, goodwill and reputation, and trade marks. Although intangible, the law recognises intellectual property as a form of property which can be sold, licensed, damaged or trespassed upon. Intellectual property encompasses patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
2Refers to the ownership of an intangible thing - the innovative idea behind a new technology, product, process, design or plant variety, and other intangibles such as trade secrets, goodwill and reputation, and trade marks. Although intangible, the law recognises intellectual property as a form of property which can be sold, licensed, damaged or trespassed upon. Intellectual property encompasses patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
James & Wells Intellectual Property, three time winner of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Laws Award and first IP firm in the world to achieve CEMARS® certification.