When our City Council revealed the new Christchurch Blueprint Plans for the first time they directly acknowledged that innovation, strong partnerships and collaboration were key ingredients required for Canterbury to move forward to a successful future. All around the world, innovation parks have become intrinsic components to their home city’s core business development, fostering growth and exploring new opportunities.
The blueprint outlined an innovation precinct to facilitate the establishment of a technology-based industry and research sector within Christchurch’s brand new central city and at the heart of this precinct lies EPIC Sanctuary. It is the vision of EPIC Innovations that through this blueprint design, the second stage of EPIC (Epic Sigma) aspires to become the iconic innovation campus for Christchurch. Attracting new business and employment opportunities in high-value industry sectors whilst working closely with key educational institutions, EPIC Sigma has been conceived to build a foundation for innovation within Christchurch.
Through this blueprint Sigma is emerging not as a simple facility or stand-alone campus but as the foundation for the vision of what Christchurch will become, an interdependent community where Sigma stands greater than the sum of its parts. Sigma intends to mingle large and small business and institutions in an ecosystem which promotes collaboration and fosters the creation of new ideas, joint projects, new business models and new solutions to compelling issues through a combined collaborative infrastructure. Sigma is being designed to leverage synergies between the corporate, education and Government institutions involved as well as encompassing New Zealand’s science-based Crown Research Institutes that already have headquarters in the region. With strong support from world leaders in innovation such as Google, Trade Me and Weta Workshop, Sigma could become a centre of talent as the intelligent rebuild of our city attracts people, capital and new ideas from around the world.
By utilising staged development Sigma would be designed to evolve in a progressive and modular process of staged environments over a dedicated central city site. As such an innovation precinct will steadily emerge that promotes unheard of levels of business efficiency and global effectiveness through shared facilities encompassing not only business services but ‘quality of life’ components such as creative breakout spaces, recreation rooms, cafes and crèches. Providing the sites identified are large enough, the modular nature of this development would enable it to continue to expand as existing tenants evolve and grow and new tenants join.
Providing facilities for thousands of knowledge workers, the vision for Sigma is to become the beating heart of Canterbury’s innovation precinct. However, EPIC Innovations recognises that the true power of commercial collaboration involves global reach. EPIC Sigma therefore plans to engage with entrepreneur communities, Government and educational institutions operating elsewhere in New Zealand and in all corners of the world.