The growth of science and technology projects in Lower Hutt has seen significant support recently, with both the local Council and central Government announcing additional funding.
So far, the local Council has committed an additional $500,000 to benefit science and technology projects across the city with this proposal one of the most popular in submissions to Council’s Long Term Plan 2015-2025.
“Lower Hutt is a leader in many areas of science and technology; we have more than 3900 full-time employees in more than 875 businesses in the high-tech sector,” says Mayor Ray Wallace.
“There is a great deal of opportunity, and this is a sector we intend to become even stronger in.”
The additional funding, which is allocated over the next three financial years, was announced during Council’s inaugural Science Technology Engineering Manufacturing and Mathematics Festival (STEMM).
According to Mayor Wallace, the STEMM Festival had strong industry support and good attendance at more than 30 events across the city that included industry open days for schools, hands on science projects and industry networking events.
Mayor Wallace says council has also made three successful funding bids worth a total of $162,000 to the Government’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund, further boosting funding in science and technology.
Unlocking Curious Minds funding is awarded to new projects that enhance the connection and engagement with science and technology of ‘harder to reach’ New Zealanders.
Also, Council’s successful projects include a partnership with GNS Science to deliver hands-on science education at libraries in the North East suburbs of Taita, Naenae, and Stokes Valley, Hutt Science’s ‘getting practical’ sessions in North East schools, and involvement in a large national bid, led by Hutt City Libraries, to deliver coding development workshops using gaming technology in eight centres around New Zealand.