Wednesday 30th October 2019
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Scott Technology will receive a $5.8 million loan from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund to set up an agriculture technology business unit.
Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced the loan as one of several projects in Dunedin, including almost $20 million to re-open KiwiRail's Hillside workshops.
The Scott unit would be dedicated to providing automation solutions and services for New Zealand food processors, producers and their suppliers, Jones said.
Scott said it would create 15 new highly skilled jobs and aimed to deliver $30 million of benefits to the agritech industry, initially focused in the South Island.
Funds would provide a “technology boost” to local industry, job creation and export earnings and set up an advanced robotics training facility for customers, staff and external students, Scott said.
“Today the production and manufacturing industries are challenged by labour availability and skills shortages. In addition, health and safety of workers is a top priority and producers are seeking greater differentiation of product. Automation, robotics and sensing can help with these challenges,” said Scott director of research and development and strategy Barbara Webster.
Scott Technology, which is controlled by JBS Australia, said it would leverage its global capability.
Webster said Scott Agritech would provide automation solutions and services for processors, producers and their supply chains. The products include machine vision, smart sensors, machine learning and data mining.
Scott Agritech would include a training function for customers and other interested parties specific to operating and maintaining both automated and robotic equipment.
The company and the government will now work together to determine final agreed terms, including repayment conditions, for the six-year loan, Scott said.
The stock lifted 1.3 percent to $2.33 and is down 23 percent over the past 12 months.
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