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Major investment in New Zealand Innovation Centre


21 October 2008

Labour-led govt announces major investment in New Zealand Innovation Centre

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson today announced a government grant of up to $25 million over the next ten years to develop the New Zealand Innovation Centre in partnership with the University of Auckland and Auckland City Council.

The grant comes from within baseline funding for economic development initiatives.

Helen Clark said that the new grant is one of many Labour-led Government initiatives to build a smart economy, not a dumb one.

“Our research and development tax write off for innovative companies, the mega Fast Forward Fund embarked on with the pastoral and food sectors, and technology park initiatives like these are essential to achieving our vision of an upmarket Kiwi economy.

“The New Zealand Innovation Centre (NZIC) will be built next to the university’s Tamaki campus. It will support the growth of companies driven by research and development.

“Firms will benefit from access to the expertise and services available at the Centre regardless of their stage in the business cycle. These firms will benefit from being co-located with like-minded firms, and the cluster will have the capacity to respond rapidly to new business growth opportunities.

“The New Zealand Innovation Centre can be expected to play an important role as a major research and innovation centre of international standard,” Helen Clark said.

The Centre is being funded through a dedicated Innovation Centre contingency which was set aside in Budget 2008, together with money from a general innovation contingency fund and existing industry development funding, Pete Hodgson said.

“By 2025, the economic benefit of the NZIC for Auckland and New Zealand is estimated to be around $400 million,” Pete Hodgson said.

“The Centre will help develop globally competitive firms from a strong research and industry base. It will help our firms innovate and compete by increasing collaboration among research providers and firms in the Auckland region and beyond.

“The Centre will also benefit staff and students by enabling them to work closely with industry and to improve the industry relevance of their research work. This is of direct benefit to our economic growth and development,” Pete Hodgson said.

The Centre is being developed in partnership with the Auckland City Council and the University of Auckland.

The Auckland City Council has undertaken to provide 5ha of land, valued at around $25 million, for the Centre, and it will assist with the development of the broader Tamaki Innovation Precinct within which the NZIC will sit.

The University of Auckland is also undertaking to provide 5ha of land from its Tamaki campus, which will be used for a ‘research hub’ to support the NZIC.

The co-operative undertakings from the Crown, Auckland City Council, and University of Auckland are subject to the successful completion of establishment work, including master planning and committed tenancy in the Centre.

Building is due to begin in 2009 and is expected to be completed in 2014.

ENDS

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