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Auckland’s Digital Sector Gets $2.5 Million Boost

23 SEPTEMBER 2008
Auckland’s Digital Sector Gets $2.5 Million Funding Boost

Auckland’s digital content sector will receive a $2.5million boost in funding over the next two years.

Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson and Communications and Technology Minister David Cunliffe today announced government funding of up to $2 million over two years to Auckland Plus to help grow the region’s digital content sector. A further $500,000 will come from the region.

AucklandPlus , which developed the proposal, project outline and funding application with input from key industry stakeholders, is delighted with the government’s support , says Michael Barnett, AucklandPlus advisory board chair.

“This signals the start of a concerted effort to grow the digital content sector,” Mr Barnett says. “Auckland is a hotbed of innovation and creativity and this funding will help to channel and harness this energy and enable the sector to flourish - both locally and internationally.”

The Auckland initiative is part of a more integrated national approach to developing the digital content industry, a key action identified in the government’s Digital Strategy 2.0, launched on August 28. Despite the industry’s relatively young and dynamic nature, it contributes $1.7billion to the national GDP, equating to 3.1 per cent.

The initiative aims to increase skill and investment levels in the sector systematically through commercialisation programmes and graduate internships while facilitating networking and fostering better connections to research organisations and education facilities, Mr Barnett says.

Creative Digital Content Auckland president Shona Grundy says Auckland’s digital content sector is already competitive on an international level but the funding boost will help unlock its vast potential.

“We are very excited about the growth opportunities this initiative promises to bring to our sector. Our innovation levels are high and some products globally recognised - we now need help to attract and retain more investment, expertise and entrepreneurs so Auckland can lead industry developments from the very front.”

AucklandPlus will manage the project and contract with MED. Key elements include the appointment of an industry advisory board, delivery of specific programmes to address key issues affecting growth in the sector, and investigating a potential new regional sector body to deliver the programmes. These are likely to be in place by the end of the year, Mr Barnett says.

The region’s contribution will be generated through programme and membership fees and contributions from local economic development agencies and the industry itself.


ENDS

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