The park's 2017 survey showed tenant numbers had lifted to 60 from 44 the previous year, taking the Hamilton park's full-time employees to 514.

Full-time equivalents working outside the park for its tenants had doubled on the previous year to 2664. The annual survey was completed by 93 per cent of tenants.

Hamilton recorded $109m revenue growth among its top technology companies last year, according to the Technology Investment Network (TIN). At 21.7 per cent revenue growth, that made the Waikato the fastest growing tech region in the country, TIN said.

 

Five of Waikato Innovation Park's tenants have annual revenue of more than $50m each, while 86 per cent of companies have fewer than 50 staff.

Chief executive Stuart Gordon said the survey results reflected the Waikato's robust economic growth and reinforced the strength of its start up and technology sectors.

Job growth at the 12-year-old park averaged 9.1 per cent last year compared to the national average of just over 2 per cent.

Fifty five per cent of tenants were doing research and development compared to the national average of less than 20 per cent.

The export focus of the park's tenants had changed from China in 2016 to North America and Europe, Gordon said, with 57 per cent engaged in exporting.

With 80 per cent of the 60 tenants reporting revenue growth and 68 per cent noting they had taken on more staff last year, another clear message from the survey was that the park's $65m expansion programme could not happen soon enough, Gordon said.

Building is due to start in January on a $20m office project, while a second new food spray dryer for Food Waikato should start rising mid-year, said Gordon, who is also interim chief executive for the new Waikato Economic Agency, to be launched in July.

The two building projects will swell the park's daily workforce to more than 900 people and progresses a master plan for growth on the 17ha site.

Gordon said the park was a desirable address for start-ups and its attractive facilities and layout was a strong lure. But its reputation for collaborative opportunities among tenants was also a big drawcard.

The survey shown more than 25 per cent of companies collaborated in ventures with other tenants.

Just over 70 per cent of companies at the park had some form of governance, up from 54 per cent in 2016, he said. Nearly half the tenants used interns, particularly ICT and service providers.

The park's assets have recently been sold by the Hamilton City Council to private investor Neil Foster, a Rotorua businessman.

The land which hosts the park buildings is owned by Waikato Tainui.