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Hutt Valley a step closer to becoming Technology Valley

16 May 2016

Hutt Valley is a step closer to becoming New Zealand’s Technology Valley following the Government’s $15m hi-tech funding boost announced earlier today.

That’s according to Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, who s applauding the announcement of new funding to commercialise new technologies developed by Kiwi scientists and entrepreneurs.

Science and Innovation minister Steven Joyce today announced $15 million of additional funding over four years. Bishop says the Hutt will be a beneficiary of the boost.

“Along with a $12 million increase for the Government’s Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund, Callaghan Innovation’s Accelerator Programme is set to benefit from new investment of $3 million over the next four years,” Bishop says.

“This is another step towards the Hutt Valley becoming ‘Technology Valley’.”

Bishop says Callaghan’s pilot programme has supported the rapid formation of early stage digital tech through Accelerator programmes run by Lightning Lab. So far 18 have secured more than $8 million in private investment, demonstrating the economic potential for the hi-tech industry in the Hutt Valley.

“Continued support for science and innovation by Government, industry and community leaders is important to help transform the Hutt into Tech Valley,” says Bishop.

“My public meeting held this evening will continue the momentum we need to secure the Hutt Valley as the centre for science and innovation in New Zealand,” he says.

“Our economy is becoming more diverse and focused on hi-tech innovation. With over 3900 people employed in more than 825 Lower Hutt businesses across the sector, it is important we stay ahead of the curve when it comes to promoting the Hutt’s science and technology credentials,” explains Bishop.

“Ultimately it is up to the Hutt to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the $1.44 billion business spend on R&D and $61.2 million invested into Kiwi start-ups in 2015. My focus is on seeing this potential become a reality,” he says.

Bishop’s public meeting on “How can we turn the Hutt into Technology Valley” is being held at The Mind Lab on 25 Victoria St, Petone from 7pm tonight and is open for all to attend.

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