R&D funding

Project Grants 2018-21

open this image in new window: Project Grants

Is your business new to, or trying to expand your R&D? A Project Grant can help you take on larger or more challenging R&D.

PLEASE NOTE: This page provides information about the 2018-21 Project Grant settings being phased out from 9 July 2021. Please see the 2021 Project Grants webpage for FAQs and information on the new settings being introduced from 13 July 2021.


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How can the grant help me?

The Project Grant is designed to help you:

  • Build your R&D expertise by giving your business an opportunity to push the boundaries and uncover new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding
  • Break new ground in an R&D project for the development of new or substantially improved devices, products, processes, systems or services
  • Develop your business into a stable and substantial R&D performer
  • Grow your investment in R&D.

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How does it work?

Your business will:

  • Typically receive 40% of your eligible R&D project costs; reducing for large projects, or when the business has had multiple grants.
  • Only receive funding for R&D done in New Zealand (unless pre-approved)
  • Receive payment in arrears (monthly or quarterly).

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Who can apply?

To apply for a Project 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.

To qualify under the 2018-21 Project Grant settings being phased out from 9 July, your business must also:

  • Meet financial and due diligence requirements
  • Have been performing R&D for less than three years or have spent less than $800k, on average, each year on R&D for the last three consecutive years
  • Not have received funding under a Growth Grant contract within 2 years of the contract maturity date.

There may be limited circumstances where:

  • A business could be eligible if it has spent more than $800k on average but has not yet commercialised its R&D
  • A previous Growth Grant recipient could be eligible for 20% co-funding if it can provide evidence that Inland Revenue has declined to provide funding for the activities outlined in its project proposal for the Research and Development Tax Incentive (RDTI).

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How do I apply?

Talk to us and we’ll help you through the process.

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Deadlines for 2018-21 Project Grant settings

New Project Grant eligibility assessment settings will be introduced on 15 July 2021. Please see the 2021 Project Grant webpage for more information and FAQs.

To be considered under the 2018-21 Project Grant settings, you have until 12pm, 9 July 2021 to start a new application in the online portal, and until 31 July to complete your application in full with related documents. 

From 13 July 2021 all Project Grant applications will be considered under the new 2021 Project Grant settings. Please contact your customer manager if you have any further questions. 

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Have you considered the R&D Tax Incentive?

In March 2021, refreshed guidelines on what constitutes R&D expenditure under the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI), which will appeal to a wider range of businesses. 

In addition to this, under a recent RDTI law change, Project Grant recipients may now be able to claim the RDTI for R&D expenditure that is greater than the amount specified in their Project Grant agreement. Businesses will still need to satisfy all other RDTI eligibility requirements if they are considering making a claim. For further information, read the RDTI information for Project Grant recipients fact sheet on the RDTI Hub. 

The Minister of Revenue has agreed to extend due dates for years one and two (2019-20 and 2020-21) of the RDTI to give businesses more time to consider how the RDTI eligibility criteria applies to their activities and to make an application. The Minister will include a due date extension to 31 August in the next tax Bill for:

  • year one (2019-20 income year) supplementary returns to 31 August 2021; and
  • year two (2020-21 income year) general approvals and criteria and methodologies (CAM) approvals.

For further information, read the 25 June 2021 news update on the RDTI Hub.


Project Grant guidelines

PDF icon Pre-application Checklist: Are you ready to talk about Project Grants?

PDF icon Guidelines: Eligible Costs for Project Grants

PDF icon Guidelines: Project Grant Funding Agreement

PDF icon Guidelines: Describing your R&D in your grant application

Project Grant application template

File Project Grant - Application template

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How do I calculate eligible R&D project costs?

As a starting point, consult the Eligible costs for Project Grants guideline to help clarify eligible and ineligible R&D project costs.

If I have a R&D Loan, can I apply for a project grant?

Yes you may apply for a project grant but note that you may be required to repay a portion of the loan as you cannot receive more than 100% government funding for your project

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2021 Project Grant changes

We are introducing changes to the R&D Project Grant eligibility settings and cost increase variations. Please see the 2021 Project Grant webpage for more information and FAQs.

Updated: 2 July 2021