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Technology Sector Receives Major Funding Boost

23 June 2005

Auckland Region Technology Sector Receives Major Funding Boost

Major funding announced by the Minister of Economic Development, Hon Jim Anderton, is set to provide a significant boost to Auckland’s technology sector.

The $2 million package, funded through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Sector and the Regional Strategies Fund, will be rolled out over the next two years and supports initiatives in both Auckland and Canterbury.

The funding supports Connect Auckland which has been established to enable the growth of technology based firms in international markets and enhance technology commercialisation in the Auckland region.

Connect Auckland originated through an initiative undertaken by the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy (AREDS).

AREDS Deputy Chair and Chair of Connect Auckland, Alastair MacCormick, said this funding is set to provide a significant boost to the local economy.

“Connect Auckland will deliver a regional, globally competitive business growth network, utilising the skills and expertise of individuals and organisations including technology based firms, universities and research institutions, funders, professional services firms and public sector agencies.

“It uses best practice experience from the US, UK and Scandinavia, which have all achieved significant results in facilitating the growth of their technology sectors.”

Dr MacCormick said Auckland provided one of the major centres of concentration for technology in New Zealand. Auckland has a strong focus upon the provision of innovative software, while Canterbury provides a destination for electronics.

Connect Auckland is to provide practical support and knowhow for local companies looking to grow offshore. The programme is headed by the former chief executive of Connect Scotland, Ian McDonald.

In addition to the funding from NZTE, the programme has been given further financial support from North Shore City and Manukau City Councils.

Ian McDonald said Connect Auckland’s main programme is `Springboard’.

“Springboard is designed to help companies explore growth opportunities for their business and prepare effective go-to-market strategies. It is a particularly cost-effective tool, used and proven in the UK and the USA, which can help companies save up to 12 – 18 months of time and effort in development.

“Connect Auckland will help local companies develop their networks, growth management competencies and facilitate their access to international networks and markets.”

ENDS

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