Economic Growth via Titanium Centre

( The new Applied Powder Metallurgy Centre at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic will be the innovative hub of New Zealand’s emerging titanium industry, says Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp.

Opening the centre in Tauranga today, Dr Mapp said the centre will enable New Zealand to gain a competitive advantage in an emerging technology.

“It is a key piece of infrastructure for the titanium industry. It will significantly boost New Zealand’s advantage in the industry, especially in titanium powder technology. The titanium applications industry could be worth $700 million each year to New Zealand by 2020.

“The Government has put nearly $8 million into research and development of the titanium industry, through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry of Economic Development and TechNZ,” he said.

“This new centre exemplifies the Government’s science goals. Supporting innovation was a top priority in the 2010 Budget. We allocated $234 million over four years for business research and development, to be targeted at highly innovative companies, and merged the present Ministry and Foundation to form a new economic-growth focused Ministry of Science and Innovation.

“This facility is unique in New Zealand. It combines traditional and high-tech engineering. Companies can use it to turn ideas and technology into leading-edge products.

“The opening of this centre is an excellent example of the innovative ecosystem at work. The industry, the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato have pooled their resources to make this happen. It is exactly the sort of innovative project that will drive our economic growth,” the Minister said.

Media Release 2 July 2010 from Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.