GridAKL in the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct has celebrated two major milestones this month, with the first permanent building opening its doors and work commencing on a new 8,500m2 building.
GridAKL – an Auckland Council initiative delivered by council controlled organisation Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – aims to help Auckland becoming an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific rim.
It is designed to encourage business growth, showcase Auckland’s world-class technology innovations to international investors and potential multi-national partners, and encourage collaboration as a focal point for networking and idea sharing.
The first permanent GridAKL building, the Lysaght Building located on the corner of Halsey and Pakenham Streets, has now opened, with companies recently relocating from GridAKL’s temporary home at 132 Halsey Street.
The newly refurbished Lysaght Building has a five star Greenstar sustainability rating standard. It includes co-working and events spaces, a Wi-Fi enabled drop in café and additional space for expanding resident businesses.
Brett O’Riley, ATEED Chief Executive, says opening the Lysaght Building is “an important milestone for GridAKL and innovation in Auckland.”
“The Lysaght Building is a central part of the regional effort to help grow a culture of innovation in Auckland, and create an environment which makes it easy for entrepreneurs to start and grow a thriving business.”
“Auckland’s long term success is dependent on our being a magnet for smart thinkers who want to start innovation-driven businesses here, which are seeking out international trade opportunities from day one.”
“GridAKL is an important initiative in creating a community where Auckland’s innovators can meet, collaborate and grow their ideas before taking them to the world.”
The Lysaght Building blends the heritage of old Wynyard Quarter with modern day 'smart' technology provided by GridAKL’s foundation partner, networking and telecommunications giant Huawei.
Huawei will showcase its world-leading communications technology with state-of-the-art systems installed within GridAKL's buildings, commencing with the Lysaght Building.
Work has also started this month on the first new GridAKL building in the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct, a 8,500m2 building developed by Precinct Properties that is expected to open by mid-2017.
ATEED has entered into a head lease agreement with Precinct Properties for this building, which will be located at 12 Madden Street.
The building will include a range of working spaces, including co-working space for start-up businesses, space for small and medium enterprises, corporate offices, event space, meetings and training facilities and places for the public to plug into GridAKL.
Mayor Len Brown welcomes the recent developments in the innovation precinct, saying: “The Auckland Innovation Plan that ATEED launched last year reiterates Auckland’s goal to be an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific region.
“If we’re going to make this happen, building the culture of innovation across our region is essential. The expansion of GridAKL, alongside the opening of the Lysaght Building, signifies our intent, and shows that efforts to encourage innovation across Auckland are gaining momentum and scale.
“I look forward to watching GridAKL, and the businesses that call it home now and in the future, go from strength to strength.”
Notes to editor:
ATEED works with a range of private and public sector partners to raise Auckland's innovation and entrepreneurial capability and capacity by delivering the actions outlined in the Auckland Innovation Plan, which are focused around six fundamental drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship:
o Connectedness and collaboration
o Culture and catalysts
o Capability building
o Market insight and access
o Access to capital.
- The Auckland Innovation Plan also outlines ATEED's role to enable a greater level of collaboration between central government, businesses, the tertiary sector and research institutions, and entrepreneurs and investors; and to raise the innovation capability and knowledge of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
- Council controlled organisation Panuku Development Auckland is the landowner of the sites where the innovation precinct is based and is responsible for the implementation of a Master Plan for the area’s long-term renewal.
- The Polperro Building, which has been used by GridAKL since May 2014, is being demolished to enable the construction of apartments being built as part of the wider Wynyard Quarter redevelopment.
- Fixtures from the Polperro Building have been repurposed for the Lysaght Building and also donated to community groups that are part of The Southern Initiative: the Cook Islands Development Agency NZ (http://cidanz.co.nz) and The Roots Creative Entrepreneurs (http://theroots.org).
- Images: artist representations of the Lysaght Building and 12 Madden Street (higher resolution versions available on request).
For further information please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor, ATEED
Ph 021 827 046