Tax credits for R&D

Companies can receive tax credits for investing in research and development.

Get tax credits for R&D work with Scion

In April 2019 new legislation came into effect that allows New Zealand businesses to get tax credits when they invest in research and development (R&D). The aim of this tax incentive is to increase New Zealand business’ R&D spend to 2% by 2027.

Scion is as an approved research provider under this scheme. As an approved research provider, there is no minimum investment requirement when you contract your R&D work with us.

Doing research yourself, or using non-approved research providers incurs requirements, such as minimum investment of $50,000.

Find out more about the R&D Tax Incentive (IR website)

The incentive offers:

  • a credit rate of 15%
  • a $120 million maximum on eligible expenditure
  • no minimum R&D expenditure threshold if you work with an approved provider, such as Scion.

In the first year the incentive is implemented, there will be a limited form of refunds, until April 2020 when a full policy is in place. Refunds will allow a firm in loss, or with insufficient tax liability to take full advantage of the tax credit, to receive a cash payment.

For more information on the R&D Tax Incentive visit IR websiteMBIE

Read a summary brochure about our R&D solutions [pdf]

Our R&D services


Scion offers consultancy services that include:

  • Scientists who are world-leaders across sustainable forest management and tree improvement, forestry biosecurity, forest ecosystems, wood-processing, wood-related bioenergy, waste streams and biomaterials
  • A range of technical services, specialist facilities, and state-of the-art technology
  • Specialists in areas such as business development, technology commercialisation, value-chain optimisation and funding and investment.

More information on consultancy services


Jeremy Warnes, Business Development Manager
Rob Lei, Business Development Manager
Rob McBrearty, Business Development Manager

Accredited laboratory services

Scion’s analytical chemistry laboratory (known as Veritec) carries out testing on soil, foliage, waste water, wood and wood preservatives.

More information on laboratory services


Laboratory coordinator/technician

Pilot and testing facilities

Improving existing products and developing new ones requires a wide range of resources. Scion offers advanced equipment and specialised skills for analysing substances, supporting product development, trouble shooting and compliance with international standards.

We work with manufacturers and product developers to improve processing systems and devise novel ways of using renewable materials. Our scientific capability supports product development based on lignocellulosic (woody) material, plant fibres, plastics, polymers, composites, green chemicals and organic wastes.

We have technologically advanced facilities to support our research activities. Our national and international networks help ensure we are working at the forefront in these rapidly developing areas.

Advanced materials development, characterisation and testing

Our capabilities include:

  • NMR, microscopy
  • Thermal analysis
  • Advanced chemical characterisation techniques
  • Chemical analysis

More information on pilot and testing facilities


Stefan Hill, Research Leader & NMR Spectroscopist

Packaging testing and development

The specialised packaging resources and testing services available for use include:

  • A unique controlled cyclic humidity environment (the WHITE Room)
  • A commercial scale flexographic printer
  • A compostability and biodegradation testing facility (DIN CERTCO accredited and unique in Australasia).

A range of bench-to-pilot scale printing and coating resources

More information on packaging


Kate Parker, Research Leader Packaging Solutions

Product development, testing and performance

Scion has the equipment and skills to carry out:

  • Plastic composite and adhesive testing - tensile strength, compression, three-point bending and impact testing.
  • Pulp and paper including:
  • Routine handsheet evaluation
  • Pulp quality evaluation
  • Chemical pulping and bleaching
  • Chemical analysis of wood and fibre constituents
  • Solid timber and engineered wood including mechanical, strength and seismic testing; glue testing; and developing new testing technologies
  • Wood preservative treatments to improve the durability and performance of wood.

More information on pilot and testing facilities


Florian Graichen, Science Leader Biopolymers and Chemicals
Doug Gaunt, Science Leader Wood and Fibre

Plastics, bioplastics and compostability

We have a comprehensive selection of plastic and composite processing equipment including extrusion, injection moulding, film blowing, foaming and thermoforming, as well as being able to carry out material analysis and assess the compostabillity of plastics.

More information on pilot and testing facilities


Florian Graichen, Science Leader Biopolymers and Chemicals

Plant and industrial biotechnology

  • Plants and microorganisms including optimising plant growth and the use of microorganisms in commercial production.
  • Molecular biology and biochemistry using genomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques to improve bio-based production.
  • Industrial fermentation developing industrial biological processes that use microbes.
  • Extractive removal and analysis extracting chemicals from plants, including tannin, lignin and compounds with antioxidant or anti-microbial activity.
  • Thermochemical processing using heat to break down organic wastes into valuable compounds.
  • Bioenergy including solid fuels such as torrefied wood and liquid biofuels such as pyrolysis oil (crude bio-diesel) and alcohols.
  • Environmental analyses.

More information on pilot and testing facilities


Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Science Leader Biotransformation 
Paul Bennett, Science Leader Clean Technologies

Wood modification and advanced processing

  • Chemical and thermal modification altering wood chemistry and improving product performance.
  • Timber drying including:
  • Softwood drying including world class control systems for optimum drying, energy efficiency and product performance
  • Hardwoods and exotic timbers
  • Supercritical extraction

More information on pilot and testing facilities


Elizabeth Dunningham, Research Leader Wood Modification
Doug Gaunt, Science Leader Wood and Fibre

Wood fibre refining facility

We have a small-scale industrial facility capable of processing wood-to-produce fibre and pulp. It is used to test operational scenarios for New Zealand’s pulp and fibre production companies.

More information on pilot and testing facilities


Karl Murton, Research Leader Pulp, Paper & Fibre Plant

Remote sensing: UAV / Drones

Capturing and using aerial imagery in forest management is a rapidly developing area. We work with forest managers to develop systems that are relevant and cost-effective.

Examples of forest management applications include:

  • High-definition geospatial work, e.g. mapping for forest planning and management
  • Pest and disease identification and monitoring
  • Forest inventory
  • Analysing the environmental impact of forest operations.

More information on UAVs/drones


Robin Hartley, Manager of UAV Operations, Geospatial Scientist, UAV Pilot 
Michael Watt, Research Leader, Remote Sensing and Geomatics