Sharechat Logo

Christchurch 'better base' for R&D than Silicon Valley

By Aimee McClinchy

Friday 23rd June 2000

Text too small?
Global software company Trimble Navigation is to base more of its research and development in Christchurch in reaction to rising costs in Silicon Valley.

Trimble Navigation New Zealand's managing director, Alan Townsend, told a Future Sectors conference this week his $US1.1 billion parent company was looking to base more of its R&D at the Christchurch arm and in a new facility in Colorado.

Product development, staff and property costs were half those in Silicon Valley and there was a "comparatively easier employee environment" with higher staff retention rates, he said.

The local arm, bought by Trimble in 1991, is already its key research arm in global positioning systems (GPS). It built an automated satellite- guided system for bulldozers in a joint venture with Caterpillar. Trimble has aligned with US wireless company Brience and bought Spectra Precision, a surveying, construction and agricultural laser company.

This purchase would double Trimble's worldwide staff, meaning more work for the Christchurch staff integrating GPS with lasers, and would open up opportunities for locals to be transferred overseas. Trimble was an example of the opportunities for the country in exporting our R&D, Mr Townsend said.

"We need to promote New Zealand's advantages; Trimble [the parent] is moving where the people are."

This week's Auckland-based Future Sectors conference was organised by both the Ministry and Foundation for Research, Science & Technology and the Manufacturers Federation to identify industry sectors for the country's growth.

Genesis managing director Jim Watson and Research, Science & Technology Minister Pete Hodgson identified primary production fields and biotechnology, especially marine biotechnology and the mapping of the human genome, as key areas.

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Napier Port plans mid-July share offer
NZ dollar firms after RBNZ holds rates; eyes on China-US trade talks
Banks, insurers should expect more intrusive RBNZ - Bascand
McConnell to pay $1.1M: used Hawkins' insolvency as a weapon - judge
Hipkins seeks joined-up thinking across state bureaucracy
Economists now expect August rate cut from RBNZ
RBNZ keeps OCR at 1.5%, signals more easing likely
UPDATE: Fletcher shares gain on $300 mln buyback
IMF favours gradual bank capital hike
Fonterra says full-season milk collection up 1.2%

IRG See IRG research reports