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Grow Wellington releases high tech manufacturing strategy

Grow Wellington releases high tech manufacturing strategy


Regional economic development agency Grow Wellington has published its regional manufacturing sector strategy aimed at developing high value manufacturing.

The strategy focuses on improving manufacturers’ knowledge of product design and development, identifying potential markets for their products and collaborating with the region’s strong ICT sector.

Grant Lumsden, Grow Wellington’s Sector Development Manager for Manufacturing, says developing businesses’ ability to design, engineer and market their own products will improve their competitiveness.

“If you have a product that has a high amount of labour content then it’s going to be a challenge to compete against the likes of Vietnam, Bangladesh or Philippines. By adding more value to products, increasing automation, and owning intellectual property, businesses will have more opportunity to grow and survive changing environments,” Mr Lumsden says.

Grow Wellington believes manufacturing in the region is in a strong position to contribute more to regional and export GDP, and employ higher-skilled people in higher earning jobs. “The strategy aims to address some of the larger challenges faced by the manufacturing sector,” Mr Lumsden says.

“One of the things that will help our manufacturing sector is a strong start-up scene. We need a pipeline of new product ideas and people with skills in product development and commercialisation.”

In order to deliver the new strategy, Grow Wellington will work in partnership with central government agencies including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, to find attractive suitable overseas markets for regional manufacturers, and with Callaghan Innovation to encourage research and development.

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Mr Lumsden says Grow Wellington has already started a series of forums for manufacturers to connect with software providers.

“These forums bring together those working in the physical manufacturing domain with people working in the software space to explore ways of working together. The aim is they will together eventually create unique and improved products with high intellectual property.”

The strategy is being published on the Grow Wellington website today and being released to stakeholders and businesses. Grow Wellington also has plans to release strategies for its other priority sectors of ICT, screen and digital and primary sectors in the coming months.

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