Scion launches innovation hub plans

Scion has launched its plans to build an innovation hub in the centre of its Rotorua campus. The NZ crown research institute revealed the wood-rich design concepts at a function this week. A NZ$2.5 million grant from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s regional infrastructure fund helped get the multi-million dollar project underway.

Scion CEO Julian Elder says the innovation hub will become the focal point of Scion’s campus and is part of a broader campus redevelopment that will foster innovation in the forestry, manufacturing, energy and sustainable land-use sectors.

“We, and our predecessors, have a proud history of innovation on this site but to take us into the future, our aging site needs upgrading. This investment will give us flexible and fit-for-purpose facilities that reflect the world-class science we do here. “We are creating a unique and dynamic environment that will promote innovation, commercialisation and collaboration by bringing Scion staff and industry closer together. Engaging with the public is important too, and we will be opening up parts of the campus to our neighbours, local community and tourists,” said Dr Elder.

Scion worked closely with Architects RTA Studio and Irving Smith during the design phase to ensure the building will be a showcase for engineered timber and sustainable building principles. Construction is expected to start before the end of this year, and it is due to be completed by December 2019.

Costing an estimated NZ$18 million, the redevelopment is the largest in many years and follows a laboratory upgrade in 2012.

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