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Tech companies return to heart of Christchurch

Published: 9:03PM Thursday November 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

A new software technology hub has opened in Christchurch bringing together nearly 20 separate and homeless companies.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce snipped the ribbon on the complex which is being seen as another sign of business picking up in the wake of the Christchurch quakes.

The campus-style facility on the corner of Tuam and Manchester streets will be a new home for 17 technology companies, two years after premises were damaged in the quakes.

"Throughout that time we ended up sharing that space with other people and we saw that sharing that space actually works," co-creator of the Enterprise Precinct Innovation Centre (Epic) Will McLellan said.

"We've had an enormous amount of interest from companies large and small."

The facility features artwork by Weta and even a coffee machine courtesy of Google. Joyce said he hopes it will prove a hotbed of ideas.

"It's these sorts of campuses which we're pretty fond of in terms of the ability to bring people together and get that innovation going, not just within companies but across companies," he said.

"The really great news is that all of these companies are actually doing very well and I think they will lead the recovery of Christchurch in terms of employment for people here."

Meanwhile 3D geological modelling company Aranz Geo was also opening new, larger, premises in Riccarton today after seeing business grow since the earthquakes.

"We've grown our staff by 150% and the really interesting thing about that is that 80% of those have come from overseas or outside Christchurch," CEO Shaun Maloney said.

The company is now helping GNS to understand the geology beneath Christchurch with software created between the two major quakes in Canterbury.