EPIC (Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus) is a two stage process to create a world class campus for innovation-based Canterbury companies in the heart of Christchurch’s rebuilt CBD.
Stage 1, called Sanctuary, is a single building facility housing 20 companies and 300 staff which opened in September 2012.
Stage 2 is a multi-building campus called Sigma, that will be conceived and developed over the five year life of the Sanctuary facility.
“EPIC gives Christchurch and New Zealand an opportunity to establish an innovation hub where leading high-growth resources and facilities will live together. Colin Andersen and Wil McLellan are to be commended for their leadership in this initiative. It will create opportunities for valuable commercial collaboration between science and businesses within EPIC.”
Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Economic Development and Science and Innovation, April 2012
Innovation is a major driver of economic growth in Canterbury, helping create high value jobs, pay for local services and raise our region’s quality of life. Innovation-based firms will be a crucial part of the region’s recovery from the earthquakes.
EPIC (Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus) is designed to stimulate the growth of innovation focussed businesses in Christchurch. The project is to create a campus that attracts ideas, capital and high-tech, high-value staff from around New Zealand and overseas because it is a truly inspiring place to work. It will be the equal of any other facility in the world, while offering access to Canterbury’s unique lifestyle opportunities.
Close connections with the region’s educational institutions to promote access to new ideas and create an avenue for brilliant minds will also help drive the growth of the Campus’ innovative companies.
EPIC is a great opportunity to create something from a clean sheet in a CBD that is being rebuilt. We know we can and must learn from the experts who have already done it, and Google have been recognised worldwide as leaders in creating facilities that support innovation.
Consequently we are delighted to be working with Christopher Coleman, Google’s Director of Global Real Estate, and Craig Nevill-Manning, Engineering Director in New York, as we move forward with developing the new Sigma campus.
EPIC has been conceived and led by Colin Andersen and Wil McLellan, Christchurch-based technology business owners who have donated enormous amounts of time and effort to make the project a reality amidst the chaos of rebuilding city.
Colin Andersen is Co-founder and Executive Director of Effectus, www.effectus.co.nz an IT consulting firm. He has acted as Convenor of the EPIC Advisory group and is a volunteer director of Epic Christchurch Limited, the company administrating Sanctuary.
The idea for EPIC came about because we observed a lot of displaced companies that needed office space and wanted to stay in the CBD. We could have been up and running six months ago if we’d gone elsewhere. We saw this as an opportunity to contribute towards the rebuild, to help create a reason for people to stay in the city and build some positive energy & vision.
Founder and CEO of gaming company Stickmen Studios, Wil McLellan is the other architect of the EPIC concept, and a fellow voluntary director of the holding company.
This is an unprecedented opportunity for New Zealand to embrace innovation and true collaboration as we work with leaders in this space from around the globe. A test bed for making it work for real: the collaborative environment, the approval processes for infrastructure, the tenants shared premises model….
The other voluntary directors of Epic Christchurch Limited are Shaun Ryan (CEO, SLI Systems) and Brian Soutar (CEO, Soutar & Associates).