Is this innovation?

The Herald reports:

A heavily redacted report on Trends Publishing, at the centre of a legal spat with Callaghan Innovation over a cancelled research and development grant, said the Auckland magazine publisher had previously received hefty government funding to develop a digital platform.

A Deloitte review, obtained under the Official Information Act, resulted from a dispute between Callaghan and Trends over claimed expenditure under an R&D growth grant that was cancelled a year ago. Callaghan is seeking to claw back the $383,000 paid out under the contract which had been for $1.3 million over three years.

Trends was in the print media business, producing a range of global home and design publications. With the downturn in media advertising in recent years, it morphed into the digital space, offering both online content and digital marketing solutions for clients.

This to me does not seem innovation. It is what thousands of companies are doing – moving digital. Why should this get a taxpayer subsidy or grant?

To me innovation is something new. Helping a print publication business go digital is not. Is that going to produce anything we can export? Lead to new jobs?

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