15 June 2021

Health Technology Quadrant

The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora is developing a Health Technology Quadrant which will be launched next year in the original Canterbury College School of Engineering buildings which sit at the heart of The Arts Centre.

The broadening of The Arts Centre’s remit through The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Act 2015 to include creativity, as well as being a place of arts, culture, and education, has allowed the Board to incorporate entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation into its fabric, and pursue the concept of a hub for health technology businesses.

The aim is to create a Health Technology Quadrant that provides expert commercialisation strategic guidance to emerging health technology companies. This addresses a gap in the NZ market and serves enterprises that emerge from research and innovation centres, enabling the retention of talent and research in the country.  Too often growing companies are being off-shored as they seek investment and high-value jobs, talent and NZ early-stage investment is lost to the country.

When exploring technology and innovation, health technology was a logical step, as The Arts Centre sits on the edge of Te Papa Hauora, Ōtautahi’s Health Precinct. As The Arts Centre is physically adjacent to the Health Precinct, it makes sense to address health technology companies such as medical technology, biotechnology and digital technology, as potential tenants. Along with the proximity to the Health Precinct, the foundations for a technology hub have already been established with The Arts Centre having a hospitality offering and business event spaces available on site.

The Health Technology Quadrant will begin in two of the four Engineering buildings, including the largest building on site and the building adjacent to it. These buildings present a historical link to science and technology, and the history of science at the University of Canterbury (formally Canterbury College). These two Engineering buildings are already earthquake strengthened, and with the proposed capital grant of $5.5 million from the Christchurch City Council through the draft Long Term Plan 2021-31, these buildings can be finished and tenanted by businesses in the health technology sector by as early as mid-2022.

There is a united local front and strategic alignments behind this initiative. The Health Precinct partners: The Canterbury District Health Board, Canterbury and Otago Universities, and Ara Institute of Canterbury are all involved, as well at ChristchurchNZ, who have given funding for a business case. There are also international links with Universities in Cambridge, and the potential to attract multi-nationals to the site who invest in innovation centres.

For further information, please view this video explaining the concept that was presented by Philip Aldridge, Director of The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora to The Tuesday Club on 8 June. Special thanks to host, Garry Moore and videographer, Aaron Campbell.