Saturday, October 21, 2006

CRI's paying dividends to NZ Govt

here in the Herald today.
Would somebody please figure out what NZ's long term science policy and funding rate actually is. What is the expected ROI on public funded research and can you expect it to pop out of the same place you shoved it in?
I've been reading some literature lately that estimates it at >10% (pay-per-view: Innovation in climate policy models - Implementing lessons from the economics of R&D - David Popp) but one reason it isn't greatly supported by a lot of businesses is that you can't internalise all of the profit - knowledge begets more knowledge cost-free type of stuff. Hence, expecting publicly funded R&D institutions to yield dividends like a baked-beans manufacturer is pretty stupid, you need to cast your returns net a little wider. Makes you wonder how the SOE's view R&D funding, given this year's mandate to be 'innovative'.
However you cut it, it probably means using analysis tools a bit more sophisticated than an MS Excel pivot table (OMFG!! have you seen these "Pivot Charts"? has anyone else heard of these?...) so you immediately rule out 99% of the economists in the Treasury dept...

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