Media Releases

Funding for Rural Innovation Lab welcomed

​Manawatū-Whanganui’s Accelerate25 Lead Team have welcomed an announcement by Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau, of $400,000 in funding from Central Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, towards the establishment of a Rural Innovation Lab. 
The Rural Innovation Lab is being piloted by the Manawatū-Whanganui Farmers and Growers Innovation Collaborative who have the long term vision of building a network of like-minded individuals and organisations.

The lab, which was launched in Palmerston North on Tuesday, will focus on enabling the digital transformation of New Zealand’s primary industries, while supporting environmentally sound economic growth for the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.


Rural Innovation Lab Chair Mat Hocken at the launch
Accelerate25 lead team facilitator and Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney attended the event, along with Hon. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor and Mayors Grant Smith and Helen Worboys.

Mr McCartney is excited to see the project come to fruition.

“The Rural Innovation Lab represents the innovative, vibrant individuals and organisations who are based in this region, and who will now have the opportunity to be seen on, and influence the world stage.

“To receive this level of funding indicates the belief central government has in our region and our ag-tech sector. Accelerate25 looks forward to working with the Lab in the future.”

The Rural Innovation Lab is supported by many organisations, including the Ministry for Primary Industries, Palmerston North City Council, Manawatū District Council, Microsoft New Zealand, Massey University, Accelerate25 and local economic development agencies.

For further information, please contact Chrissie Morrison, Media and Communications Manager, Horizons Regional Council, on , 027 695 9747.