PlantTech Regional Research Institute

Priority One and the University of Waikato partnered with a consortium of eight local businesses to secure $8.4m in investment from the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment to help establish a new technology research institute in the Western Bay of Plenty sub-region, with the working name ‘PlantTech’.

The founding group includes Bluelab, Cucumber, GPS-It, Eurofins, Plus Group Horticulture, Trimax Mowing Systems, Waka Digital and Zespri International, alongside Priority One and the University of Waikato.  Together these organisations have developed the PlantTech concept to accelerate innovation using the region’s horticulture industry as a testing ground for new technologies and services.  Through participating companies, PlantTech’s research will be commercialised nationally and globally in markets including sports fields, hydroponics, logistics and primary industry land use, as well as horticultural technologies.

Expected to be operational by the second half of 2018, PlantTech will build regional and national capability in the application of advanced technologies to strengthen hi-tech exports.  A team of experts in data sciences and automation will be employed who will focus on premium, natural plant production and will collaborate with industry, research organisations and international partners.


PlantTech Regional Research Institute

PlantTech Regional Research Institute project aims

Accelerate innovation in the horticulture industry

10 founding members

$8.4 million government funding

Commercialise research to grow companies