Finding Papakura’s budding innovators and entrepreneurs is the focus series of projects being funded by the Papakura Local Board.
“What people consider a business is changing, so if we want a bustling metropolitan centre and a strong local economy providing local jobs for local people, then we need to look at what types of business will deliver that result,” says Local Board Chair Brent Catchpole.
“The maker culture is growing. More people are making a living out of social and economic enterprises, more people are looking at innovative fields like robotics. These are the areas we need to focus on.”
The first initiative kicks off with the Papakura Innovation event at Sir Edmund Hillary Library on 22 July, where people can discover and play with robotics and wearable technology.
"People with no experience will find the activities easy to get into, and there are more challenging opportunities for those who want to push the envelope,” says Rohan Fletcher from Meshed, the community group partnering with the local board to run the events.
“If you have a question about technology, or have an idea and need help making it happen, we want you at the library on 22 July so we can talk.”
The events will be held fortnightly through to mid-September with a different theme each time, ranging from laser cutting and 3D printing to robotics and even bike repairs.
“Repairing bikes isn’t child’s play. Think about the focus on using bikes for transport, the advent of cycleways in our cities and suburbs. More bikes equals more repairs, so that could be the start of a career or teach some core work skills.”
The local board is also researching an innovation hub for Papakura.
The research will help identify Papakura innovators, the fields they’re working in, what innovation means to them and whether there’s support for a hub.
What: Papakura Innovation Events
When: 10am-4pm. Every second Saturday from 22 July until 16 September 2017
Where: Sir Edmund Hillary Library, 209 Great South Road, Papakura.
Free to all ages.
Connect with other innovators
People wanting to connect with other local innovators and find out more about the projects, including the research, can go to the Innovate Papakura page on Facebook.