In­no­va­tion hub may be scoped

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

An in­no­va­tion hub for Cen­tral Otago will be con­sid­ered at a coun­cil meet­ing to­day.

The busi­ness com­mu­nity is seek­ing sup­port from the dis­trict coun­cil to sup­port scop­ing work for an in­no­va­tion hub con­cept at a cost of about $8000.

The hub pro­posal has been de­vel­oped with in­put from Greg Bodeker, of Bodeker Sci­en­tific, Richard Tyree, of Farm So­lu­tions and Tara Druce, of Druce Con­sult­ing, and there have been ex­ploratory dis­cus­sions with the Otago Polytech­nic about how its re­de­vel­oped Cromwell Cam­pus might sup­port an in­no­va­tion hub in the dis­trict, a re­port to coun­cil says.

‘‘The cur­rent speed of tech­no­log­i­cal change is in­flu­enc­ing the global econ­omy and skill de­mand at a rapid rate.

‘‘In­no­va­tion is crit­i­cal in a world of con­verg­ing tech­nolo­gies such as fast in­ter­net, mo­bil­ity, big data and cloud com­put­ing.

‘‘The cur­rent wave of new tech­nolo­gies will im­pact every part of so­ci­ety and the econ­omy.

‘‘En­abling Cen­tral Otago to drive in­no­va­tion would help en­sure a thriv­ing fu­ture for our dis­trict econ­omy.

‘‘Suc­cess­ful in­no­va­tion im­proves com­pet­i­tive­ness, in­creases out­put, drives pro­duc­tiv­ity growth, and cre­ates suc­cess­ful ex­ports by in­tro­duc­ing new or im­proved prod­ucts, pro­cesses or meth­ods into the econ­omy,’’ the re­port says.

Cen­tral Otago has a rich his­tory in science and in­no­va­tion and a num­ber of Crown Re­search In­sti­tutes have fa­cil­i­ties lo­cated in the dis­trict, it says.

‘‘Alexan­dra is also home to the new Cen­tre for Space Science Tech­nol­ogy, the sec­ond in­sti­tu­tion to re­ceive fund­ing un­der the Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gional Re­search In­sti­tute pro­gramme.

‘‘It is timely for Cen­tral Otago to con­sider how to build on this her­itage, the tech­no­log­i­cal change that is oc­cur­ring glob­ally and re­cent lo­cal de­vel­op­ments, in order to grow an in­no­va­tive dis­trict enon­omy.’’

The broad vi­sion for a hub in Cen­tral Otago would in­clude a phys­i­cal space where en­trepreneurs can be co-lo­cated with other in­no­va­tive in­dus­tries to drive links and syn­er­gies be­tween projects and peo­ple.

It is en­vis­aged if the hub project pro­ceeds, it should be self­sus­tain­ing with no fund­ing re­quired from coun­cil.

MARK MEXTED

Win­ner of the adult sec­tion of Light Up Your Hat was Claire Dwyer, of Cromwell.

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