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Waikato Innovation Park contribution increases by 66 per cent

Waikato Innovation Park contribution increases by 66 per cent

The combined turnover of Waikato Innovation Park's 33 tenants has risen by 66 per cent to $300 million in the last year.

The tenants of the Hamilton City Council owned initiative in Ruakura Road turned over a combined $300 million in 2015, the latest tenant survey showed. That figure was up from a $180 million turnover in 2014.

Waikato Innovation Park chief executive officer Stuart Gordon said: "These numbers reflect the feeling of the place of growth and the opportunities that we have. A lot of these firms are in the value added and IT space."

Collaboration was key to the park's success, with just over a third (36 per cent) of the park's 33 tenants working with others on collaborative ventures.

The number of employees at Waikato Innovation Park rose by 13.7 per cent over the last year, increasing the park's economic impact by $14 million, based on a multiplier of 2.3 used by the Institute for Business Research at the University of Waikato Management School in a 2012 report on the park. The rise in park based workers compared to a national average job growth of four per cent, with 479 park based staff out of the 1292 employed by Waikato Innovation Park tenants.

Innovation Park tenant Smartrak, which develops fleet and asset management software, experienced 230 per cent growth in 2015 and finance and operations general manager Rick Carter put some of that success down to the campus atmosphere fostered by the park.

"The building is campus style which works really well, staff really enjoy the working environment, and we find when people are happy that has a very positive effect on productivity," Carter said.

Waikato Innovation Park was a supportive landlord, Carter said.

Dairy and Beef Solutionz chief executive Derek Fairweather, whose business adapts New Zealand pasture systems and technology for offshore markets, said the park cluster helped his business attract talent.

He said his company had experienced sound growth in recent years.

"We have great need for people who know dairy and beef and have a desire to travel and absorb new cultures and adapt what they know to local farmers and farming practices," Fairweather said.

"It's a real challenge to find adaptive people and partners, the Park location helps."

Seventy per cent of Waikato Innovation Park's tenants exported their products and services, compared to a national average of 25 per cent. Of those 22 per cent went to Australia, 18 per cent to the USA, 15 per cent to Europe, 13 per cent to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and 11 per cent to China.

All 33 Waikato Innovation Park tenants participated in the survey.

-ENDS-

About Waikato Innovation Park

Waikato Innovation Park provides a dynamic business campus where collaboration between business and research organisations drives commercial growth for resident companies. The first building was opened in 2004 and subsequently underwent an expansion in 2006. The Park's second building was opened in 2009, the open access spray dryer was opened in 2013 and the third building was completed by December 2015.

More information about Waikato Innovation Park can be found at www.innovationwaikato.co.nz