Innovation site is leap of faith' for Sappi

Posted On Wednesday, 15 October 2003 02:00 Published by
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PULP and paper group Sappi is expected to be the anchor tenant of a new R300m development to be located alongside the N1 highway in Pretoria.

PULP and paper group Sappi is expected to be the anchor tenant of a new R300m development to be located alongside the N1 highway in Pretoria.

The support of the multinational corporation is a shot in the arm for the so-called Innovation Hub, which is one of the key projects in the Gauteng provincial government's Blue IQ initiative.

Sappi announced its involvement during a sod-turning ceremony, which was attended by Premier Mbhazima Shilowa, yesterday.

Sappi's technical director, Bertus van der Merwe, described the company's planned participation in the project as a "leap of faith".

He said there was no figure for the company's planned investment as it was in "the final stage of negotiations" to become an anchor tenant at the development.

The new site will cluster the majority of Sappi's local research activities, with a particular emphasis on fibre and pulp research.

There will also be biotechnology research and work on environmental impact, as well as training and distance learning activities.

Sappi, which also has research centres in the US and in Europe, plans to deploy 70 full time staff at the new facility.

The CE of the Innovation Hub management company, Neville Comins, said that a series of pilot projects linked to the science park was already under way, housed in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research , which is across the motorway from the site of the new development.

Oct 14 2003 07:37:32:000AM John Fraser Business Day 1st Edition


Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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