R&D funding

Getting Started Grants

open this image in new window: Getting Started Grants

Are you in the early stages of, or new to, R&D? A Getting Started Grant will give you a kick-start to help you take your product, process or service solution from development through to commercialisation.

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New grants criteria and application process

We are now accepting applications for Getting Started, Fellowship, Career and Project Grants following our pause in October and November. However, as there is limited funding, a new waitlist process is in place along with new criteria for the rest of the financial year. Please take a look at our specific grant page for the most current criteria and application process. 

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How can the grant help me?

The Getting Started Grant is designed to help you start your R&D journey to become an established R&D performer. It is not designed for one-off small projects. 

The Getting Started Grant can:

  • Help you launch your R&D activities to create a competitive edge
  • Help you navigate through R&D roadblocks – whether its troubleshooting, basic prototyping, project planning, technical feasibility studies, development of an Intellectual Property strategy or determining product specifications and user requirements
  • Help you access technical expertise to support you in taking your development in the right direction. 

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How does it work?

Your business will:

  • Receive 40% of your eligible R&D project costs*, up to $5,000 (based on a quotation)
  • Only receive funding for R&D done in New Zealand
  • Receive a one-off payment on completion of the project.

*Eligible R&D project costs are external costs only. Internal costs are not funded under the Getting Started Grant.

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Who can apply?

To apply for a Getting Started Grant, your business must be one of the following:

  • Registered under the Companies Act.
  • Registered under the Limited Partnerships Act.
  • A Māori incorporation or trust established under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act, a trust set up to manage assets as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, a Māori statutory body, or a business controlled by one or more of these entities.

Charitable Trusts can apply for funding only if they meet the business criteria above and satisfy all other criteria. Your business must also meet financial and due diligence requirements to qualify.

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Getting Started Grants guides

Getting Started Grant application template

File Getting Started Grant - Application template

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How do I apply?

Following another popular year, waitlists are now in place for Getting Started, Project, Fellowship and Career Grants. 

All grants will be processed via a new waitlist process: 

  1. Businesses wanting to apply for Getting Started, Career, Fellowship or Project Grants will need to fill out a waitlist form. Please check the eligibility criteria carefully to ensure you are eligible to apply. 
  2. You will be contacted by a customer manager to confirm you are eligible to apply for the grant and are undertaking eligible R&D activities. 
  3. Invitations to formally apply from the waitlist will be sent out in monthly batches (approx mid-month).
  4. Once invited to apply, you will have 2 weeks to submit the full grant application. We strongly encourage you to start getting the required information together ahead of the waitlist process. A sample application form containing details of what information will be required to apply to the waitlist can be found [here]. Applications not submitted in full within the 2-week period will be automatically closed and the funds will be reallocated back to the waitlist pool.

Join the waitlist to apply



Getting Started Grants are delivered through our Regional Business Partner network. Talk to your local advisor and they’ll help you understand the process, or call us and we’ll connect you. You can apply at any time.

The Getting Started grant allowed us to quickly get the required testing completed and reduced some financial risk associated with developing a new product.

Michael Lawley, Owner - Ecolnnovation

Updated: 1 December 2021