$74.6m to develop tech-savvy Aotearoa businesses
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This year the Government is injecting $74.6 million into increasing demand for research and development projects. The money will boost "Growth Grants" distributed by Callaghan Innovation. 

But what real benefits are in it for Māori businesses? 

Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith says this research and development fund will help Aotearoa businesses get their ideas and products to the market sooner and further increase export revenues.

“Growing levels of business R&D are likely to increase the productivity of the wider economy as they result in knowledge and technology that can be used by other businesses to generate new industries, higher-value products and higher-skilled jobs.”

According to Callaghan Innovative General Manager Hemi Rolleston, "Maori need to evolve more from being landlords and primary producers, to invest further up the value chain into other areas such as tourism and food – for example, through inventing technology to pick kiwifruit instead of just owning the land it’s grown on."

Rolleston also highlighted the role Māori have in the market, "The latest reports show that the Māori asset base increased from $36.9 billion in 2010 to $42.6 billion in 2013, with the largest portion of the Māori contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) coming from the primary sector (contributing $1.8 billion to Māori GDP in 2013)."

Other business and economic initiatives were seen at this year's Hi-Tech Awards in Auckland. The 2017 winner of the Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Maori Innovation Award was Biolytic. A company who pride themselves on creating eco-friendly water waste products to better sustain the planet. Among the nominees was Navilluso Medical, a company co-operated by Kaitaia GP Dr Lance O'Sullivan.

Dr O'Sullivan spoke to Māori Television earlier about Navilluso Medical's project, "iMOKO is a digital health platform where we are actually wanting to democratise health care by putting simple technologies into the hands of whānau to achieve better health outcomes."

2017 Kiwibank Hi-Tech Innovative Services Award - Navilluso Medical announced as finalist for NZ Hi-Tech Awards

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