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Industry NZ Support For Waikato Innovation Park

Industry New Zealand Support For Waikato Innovation Park 'Tribute To Calibre Of Proposal'

Industry New Zealand’s decision to support the Waikato Innovation Park project is a tribute to the calibre of the proposal, and the local people driving it, Industry New Zealand’s CEO Neil Mackay said.

The Waikato Innovation Park will receive $2 million under Industry New Zealand’s Major Regional Initiative funding.

“The proposal builds on the natural advantage of the area – including the concentration of some of the country’s top scientists around the University of Waikato and the Crown Research Institutes based at Ruakura,” Mr Mackay said.

“However, natural advantages alone are not enough, and the Board’s decision was made easier by the quality and depth of the submission and presentation of the proposal, which allowed it to have confidence about investing in the project.”

Mr Mackay said the project also fits Industry New Zealand’s goal of fostering enterprise and innovation. “This is about turning intellectual property into commercial enterprise, which is one of Industry New Zealand’s key roles,” he said.

The decision was the culmination of several months of energetic work between Industry New Zealand staff and local representatives. “It has all of the important ingredients of a successful Major Regional Initiative, bringing together business, local government, iwi, and the research sector,” Mr Mackay said.
Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme aims to help regions to realise their potential. The Programme is not about grants for one-off initiatives. Funding goes to proposals developed by "communities of interest", working together for long term sustainable growth for their region.
Successful proposals will involve a cross section of agencies and organisations such as business groups, local government, iwi, economic development agencies and community groups, implementing an agreed strategy.
Co-operation rather than competition is the key - between region stakeholders, and the government.

The programme provides funding for:
 Up to $100,000 per region for strategic planning
 Up to $100,000 each year for building the necessary capability to implement strategic plans
 Up to $2 million for Major Regional Initiatives.
Regions are also required to contribute to funding, and progression to the next stage is not automatic or guaranteed.
“The overall aim of the Major Regional Initiatives programme is to support proposals from regions that contribute to a smarter, innovative, responsible, internationally-focused New Zealand as a potent force for higher growth”, Mr Mackay said. Proposals considered for funding will have an emphasis on promoting higher economic growth within a region and do so by focusing upon one or more key enablers for growth and demonstrating a contribution to one of more indicators.
Mr Mackay said the Waikato decision was a milestone in the Regional Partnership Programe. “Waikato is the first region to fulfil the requirements for Major Regional Initiative funding.”

Ends/…

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