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New hub to boost Māori innovation

20 Oct 2016

Māori business innovators in the Lower Hutt region are set to benefit from a new innovation hub launched this week by Callaghan Innovation.

Te Whare a Māui - The Maori Innovation Hub, opened at the Gracefield Innovation Quarter on Lower Hutt, is a shared working space with tools to assist collaboration and innovation.

Māori innovators will be able to meet with each other and work alongside Callaghan Innovation's business and research experts.

"It is a place to connect with Māori, cook up new ideas and help your business grow," explains Callaghan Innovation interim chief executive Hemi Rolleston.

“The Gracefield Innovation Quarter contains some of the best minds, facilities and equipment for technology and product development in New Zealand,” he adds.

Callaghan Innovation is the government’s innovation agency. It helps businesses develop and commercialise technology.

According to Rolleston, Callaghan Innovation works extensively with ambitious Māori businesses that are developing new technology, such as Kono New Zealand, Miraka and Kiwa Digital.

Kono New Zealand is Wakatū Incorporation’s food and beverage business. Director and Innovation coordinator Miriana Stephens says Te Whare a Māui will help build invaluable connections for the company.

“Some of the best things we’ve found about working with Callaghan Innovation are the links we’ve made to other businesses and a range of research expertise,” says Stephens.

“The Innovation Hub will make it easier to work together, share insights and build relationships. Being part of it is going to take us to a whole new level.”

Steven Renata, global business development director at Kiwa Digital, which produces interactive digital books, says Callaghan Innovation have been a ‘tremendous support’ for the company.

“They bring world class research and development that we didn’t have expertise in. The help around future products and services has been fantastic,” Renata says.

The Hub is for Māori businesses working with Callaghan Innovation. Those wanting to use the Hub should contact their business and relationship manager.

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