The Manawatū Agritech Strategy, created in partnership between the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) and Sprout, has won the Best Practice Award for Integrated Planning at Economic Development New Zealand’s annual Best Practice Awards.
The award was presented at the Economic Development New Zealand Annual Conference in Blenheim at the weekend, which was focused on the theme, ‘Delivering Inclusive Growth.’ Ten organisations were recognised in the awards for their outstanding contribution to the wellbeing and prosperity of their communities.
“Having the Manawatū Agritech Strategy recognised for integrated planning is a testament to the leadership, people and organisations in the region who were involved in its creation. This is a win for all of us,” says CEDA’s Chief Executive Linda Stewart.
Agritech was recognised as a strength and point of difference for the region through CEDA’s work with McKinsey & Company in 2017, given the cluster of businesses and organisations that are based in Manawatū. These include Massey University, UCOL, FoodHQ, the crown research institutes AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, and the Ridddet Institute, Fonterra Research and Development Centre, Sprout, and now the Rural Innovation Lab. Representatives from all these organisations and more, including iwi and Māori, were involved in the creation of the strategy.
(L-R) CEDA Business Development Manager John Morris, CEDA Chief Executive Linda Stewart, EDNZ Chair Pam Ford, EDNZ Deputy Chair Mark Rawson.
“Successful and sustainable economic development builds on the strength of a region and its comparative and competitive advantages. This strategy, and those involved in its creation, demonstrate collective commitment to all playing a part in creating growth, expansion and investment opportunities, and quality well-paying jobs that offer training and career pathways in Manawatū and beyond.”
Economic Development New Zealand’s Chairperson and Awards Judge Pam Ford says the award winners reflect the importance of an inclusive approach and have been honoured for initiatives which have had a real and positive impact on the wellbeing and prosperity of communities and regions.
“Agritech has emerged as a strong point of difference for the Manawatū region. CEDA and Sprout have built on that difference to create an agritech cluster strategy that achieves a virtuous dynamic cycle of attracting top academics, researchers, students, venture capitalists, and businesses. The judges were impressed by the high level of integration evident and said it was a great example of good practice,” Ms Ford said.
Discover the other winners of EDNZ Annual Best Practice Awards, here.
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