Waikato Innovation Park (WIPL) reported excellent results at its recent annual general meeting. “It’s been a fantastic year both from a financial point of view and strategically,” says CEO Stuart Gordon.
Group revenue for the year ending June 2016 increased by 29 percent to $10.3 million and total comprehensive income inclusive of revaluations increased by 61.7 percent to $2.6m.
Ruakura-based Waikato Innovation Park opened in 2004 and is wholly owned by Hamilton City Council. The combined turnover of the Park’s 33 tenant companies exceeded $300m in the last year, up from a $180m turnover in 2014. There are 479 people employed at the Park, a growth of 14 percent since last year.
Stuart Gordon said Waikato Innovation Park is a hub of activity and innovation, a positive and supportive business environment populated by companies and individuals contributing to the region’s economy.
“Waikato Innovation Park has continued to contribute to the Waikato economic growth strategy, in collaboration with other regional agencies, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation,” said Gordon. “It’s an exciting place to do business, with a lot of opportunities for collaboration. Most of the firms here are technology-led and value-added, and are contributing great things to our region and our country’s economy.”
The third annual survey of tenants this year revealed that 70 percent of companies are actively engaged in exporting, two-thirds (67 percent) are engaged in research and development. Tenancy at the Park remains high at 96 percent and synergy between park companies is high, with more than one-third (36 percent) working collaboratively together.
Major milestones for the year included the completion of the new 3500sqm Tetra Pak building in January, on time and within budget.
Food Waikato, a subsidiary company of Waikato Innovation Park, has continued to excel, with revenue growing 85 percent since last year to $6.8m. A major highlight for Food Waikato this year was the first sheep’s milk being processed in the dryer.
The Waikato Innovation Park site is earmarked for further growth, with huge potential to attract innovative businesses – both large and small, to the region.
Waikato Innovation Park’s new masterplan was adopted by the board in November 2015, and outlines the Park’s vision for the future, which includes growth of the campus’s innovation and research precinct and its food and technical development centre.
Led by international engineering consultancy BECA, the brief for developing the new site masterplan included designing a Park that fosters sustainable business growth and innovation through an exciting, stimulating, interconnected, vibrant environment that encourages collaboration, knowledge sharing and chance encounters.
A multifunctional, dynamic meeting space for visitors and employees is proposed as a Hub at the heart of The Park. There will be space developed which separates car parking from recreation.
The focus of the Park is on innovation and technology-led businesses that enhance New Zealand’s competitive advantage and alignment with the region’s economic export development strategy, particularly in areas such as agriculture, agribusiness, food processing, value-added food products from primary production, horticulture, environmental sustainability and enabling information and communication technology. “Our focus this year has been to specialise in funding grants, incubation, clustering, business attraction and business-to-business collaboration,” said Gordon.
More information about Waikato Innovation Park is available at www.wipltd.co.nz