This article was published on 8 December 2015
Callaghan Innovation chief executive Mary Quin says the new Vodafone xone ICT product development facility opening in Christchurch next year will be an important addition to the innovation ecosystem in New Zealand.
The xone will open in May 2016 in Vodafone’s purpose-built headquarters in Christchurch’s innovation precinct, where Callaghan Innovation will also have premises.
One of seven xone programmes operating worldwide, the New Zealand centre will offer a mix of technical help for new businesses and access to ICT facilities for product development for established businesses.
Callaghan Innovation is supporting the xone with $900,000 over three years, and Dr Quin says the variety of businesses able to take advantage of the facility was a big factor in the decision to support the programme.
“Companies will be able to test their products on a secure Vodafone network to optimise product performance. They will also have access to Vodafone's engineering expertise.
“The mix of services from technical mentoring and co-working spaces for emerging businesses, through to state-of-the-art ICT facilities for established businesses mirrors Callaghan Innovation’s graduated service offerings from start-up through to large exporter.
“We see the xone as offering something of great value to New Zealand’s high-tech sector, which would not be possible without the involvement of a large telco such as Vodafone.
“It’s also extremely pleasing to be contributing to the reinvigoration of the Christchurch CBD by being part of a major development – as well as a tenant - in the Innovation Precinct.”
Applications for businesses wanting to use the xone in 2016 are open now. An information evening will be held in January in Christchurch.