Callaghan Innovation $75m boost a move toward productivity and sustainability - Govt
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/113407857/-

2019-06-11 21:49:32

A $75 million funding boost for Callaghan Innovation's Gracefield Innovation Quarter will enable seismic strengthening for six buildings, improvements to dangerous goods storage and urgent weather-tightness repairs.

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says it is also intended to plug a gap in the country's future, by giving top scientists a modern facility to help foster a more productive and sustainable economy.

Woods announced the cash injection at the Gracefield facility in the Hutt Valley on Wednesday.

A new building was also planned for the Measurement Standards Laboratory, as well as an extension to improve commercial businesses facilities and asbestos management and removal.

Scientific lab safety would be improved and it would be readied for health and safety re-certification.

Woods said Gracefield played an important role in "connecting and supporting" the innovation community, and its redevelopment would ensure Callaghan could continue to help businesses grow investment into research and development.

Last year "around 270" companies benefited from those services, and Woods hoped the investment would see that number grow, bringing closer a coalition goal of increasing research and development investment spend to two per cent GDP by 2027.

"Investment in this significant Government asset will help us build a productive nation and transform the economy, by fostering growth in innovation and commercialising science and technology developments," she said.

Callaghan Innovation chief executive Vic Crone said the investment placed the organisation in a "strong position" to pursue innovation ambitions.

"It represents a significant vote of confidence in the future of Gracefield Innovation Quarter and the importance of the work being conducted on the site."

Prolonged under-investment in the site over previous decades meant the initial focus would be on upgrading buildings, but the funding would also help Callaghan deliver on its vision of the precinct becoming a national hub for innovative research and commercial activity.

WHAT $75 MILLION WILL BUY

* A new building to meet the special requirements of the Measurement Standards Laboratory

* An extension to improve commercial businesses facilities to deliver customer contracts

* Asbestos management and removal

* Seismic strengthening for six buildings

* Dangerous goods storage improvements including building additional stores

* Scientific lab safety improvements

* Heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) replacements across the site

* Urgent underground services improvements

* Urgent roof and weather tightness remediation

* Re-certification for new Health and Safety legislation

* Upgraded site-wide horizontal infrastructure

* Aged building refurbishment

* A new building to host flexible laboratory spaces

* Improved business operations resilience and capacity

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