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New support for NZ's business incubators

Friday 27 April 2001
Media Statement

New support for NZ's business incubators

The Government is establishing a support agency and cash awards to help New Zealand's business incubators, Minister for Small Business Pete Hodgson announced today.

A number of incubators, typically providing work space and support services, have been established recently to help entrepreneurs and new businesses through their start-up and early stages of development.

Examples include Unitec's Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Massey University's Albany campus incubator, Victoria University's Innovation Greenhouse, the Canterbury Innovation Incubator and Otago University's Innovation Centre, where Mr Hodgson launched the Incubator Support Programme today.

"Stimulating economic growth and supporting innovation are key goals for the Government," Mr Hodgson said. "Incubators are relatively new to New Zealand but they have excellent potential to improve the growth and survival rates of new companies."

Mr Hodgson said analysis and consultation with incubators had shown that the level of experience and capability amongst incubators was mixed, networking and information sharing could be improved and some had difficulties with funding in their early stages.

"Incubators have sprung up around New Zealand without Government assistance, thanks to the initiative and vision of their backers in the public and private sectors. But clearly the Government can help, so that's what we're doing."

A small Incubator Development Unit will be established within Industry New Zealand as a resource for incubator managers and other interested parties. It will set up a national Incubator Network to share information about best practice and processes.

The Incubator Development Unit will also promote incubation and technology transfer and help incubators make use of other Government programmes and services.

Industry New Zealand will establish an informal Incubator Advisory Group, drawing on people with experience in business incubation, to provide practical advice to officials and the minister.

The new annual Incubator Awards will offer cash rewards to incubators in the Incubator Network, recognising those taking a lead in adopting best practice programmes and processes.

There is currently $680,000 available for the Incubator Support Programme, of which $550,000 will be set aside for the first Incubator Awards. Mr Hodgson said he hoped to be able to announce an increase in funding for the programme in the upcoming Budget.

"This is a small but important part of the Government's wide range of policies for economic development," Mr Hodgson said. "By supporting the development and improvement of New Zealand's incubators we can play a part in the creation of dynamic new companies and new jobs."



Incubator Sponsoring Organisation Location Status Milestones

Maori Poutama Trust Emerging Concept being investigated
Christchurch Canterbury Development Corporation, Canterbury University, Lincoln University Christchurch Emerging Building being refurbished
Manukau Carich Training and Manukau City Council Manukau Emerging Planning well advanced
Porirua Whitireia Community Polytechnic Porrirua Emerging Lease signed
eCentre Massey University - Albany Albany Established Existing incubator
Inventure Fletcher Building Auckland Established Assisting commercialisation of ideas
Innovation Centre Unitec Auckland Established Tenants in place
Fashion Incubator Fashion Incubator Auckland Established
Private incubator Chapman Management Services Christchurch Established
Innovation Centre Otago University and Dunedin City Council Dunedin Established Existing incubator
NIWA NIWA Hamilton Established CRI commercialisation
IRL Industrial Research Limited Lower Hutt Established CRI commercialisation
Innovation Greenhouse Victoria Link Ltd and Salamanca Group Wellington Established Tenants in place
Queenstown Technology Park Jason Neal Queenstown Planned Looking for tax breaks
Auckland University Auckland UniServices Limited Auckland Planning
Waikato Innovation Park Wakato University, Waikato polytech, HortResearch Hamilton Planning Land use being settled
Palmerston North Massey Univeristy and Plamerston North City Council Palmerston North Planning Consultant writing report
Wellington Wellington City Council, Victoria University, Massey University Wellington Planning Consultant writing report

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