ODT: More science crumbs

An editorial in the Otago Daily Times discusses why, in terms of last week’s budget announcement for research, science and technology funding, a few crumbs is better than none, and that the renewed focus on science and research is reassuring.

However, it says the commitment is a limited one for a limited period, and government could perhaps consider more support for small-scale enterprises, which can be highly innovative even if slightly more risky investment-wise.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“It certainly makes national economic sense for New Zealand producers and manufacturers to exploit to a far greater level than is occurring at present the commercial value of publicly-funded institutional research and invention.

“Of course, ideas and knowledge are but one half of the equation; much more venture or risk capital will also be required to develop products and sell them internationally- a notion the Government should certainly be addressing in the Budget.

“So much innovation takes place in low-cost, small-staff enterprises that it would seem potentially an investment prospect well worth far greater state support than is the case, even though the risks of failure may be greater.”