Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau recently announced Provincial Growth Fund investments amounting to $4.5 million in Nelson. The sum will contribute to the establishment of an artificial intelligence (AI) institute and a high-end food development for start-up food producers.
“Artificial Intelligence is on the cusp of a global revolution and I am pleased the PGF has recognised the economic and social opportunities the Artificial Intelligence Institute will bring to the Top of the South region and New Zealand as a whole,” Under-Secretary Tabuteau said.
“The Institute will focus initially on using artificial intelligence in the aquaculture industry in a region where 70 per cent of the country’s aquaculture industry is located and where untapped potential remains”.
The Nelson Artificial Intelligence Institute Limited (NAII) received a $3.4 million loan as part of this tranche of investments, while Picot Productions Ltd received $778,000 to establish The Food Factory.
“I am really excited the PGF is also supporting the construction of the Food Factory, an initiative spearheaded by Picot Productions Ltd, which produces Pic’s Peanut Butter,” the Under-Secretary said.
“The Top of the South region is known for its high value horticulture products, as well as artisan products such as cider, cheeses, olive oil and baked goods. The Food Factory will provide start up food companies with a collaborative environment to develop new food products”.
This lot of PGF funding announcements also provided $400,000 over two years to help grow the region’s other planned economic development project. This funding is consistent with the PGF’s commitment to support regions in the country with their regional economic development capability.
“These PGF investments announced today will build on the great strides the Top of the South region is already making and I’m proud that the PGF is maximising on the boundless opportunities in the region to be enjoyed by generations to come,” Under-Secretary Tabuteau added.