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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Economic development: Aviat Networks and R&D investment

New Zealand's R&D spending by sector, 2006-2012. From Statistics NZ
Research and development investment is critical to building a more competitive economy. Since 2008, New Zealand's overall spending on R&D has increased by almost half a billion dollars, or 23%. What's pleasing is that this investment hasn't just come from the government and universities, but from private businesses. This is one of the major planks of the business growth agenda - encouraging investment in R&D.

In Taita, we have a great success story with Aviat Networks. The Dominion Post reports that the company has grown its workforce from 60 to 100 since 2010. They've got another 12 vacancies this year that need to filled.
The great news is that there's more to come. Aviat are going to continue to invest in their facilities as a "centre of excellence" for software development, thanks to Victoria University's software engineering degree.

This is a great example of the return from the government's encouragement of R&D. With the university providing skills for Kiwis to get into high-paying jobs and R&D investment creating still more, there are even more opportunities for jobs and growth coming onstream.