The Hunter region, and its capital Newcastle, remain at the crossroads. Behind it is a well documented history of success on the back of resources and manufacturing enterprises.
We now face a choice whether to maintain our attachment to the past and the competitive advantages of yesteryear, or to build on our emerging new strengths in services and the knowledge economy, in order to deepen, diversify and accelerate change which is already underway.
The Hunter is on the crest of a transition that will reshape the way that we interact and do business. The transition provides the perfect opportunity to build on the region’s natural competitive advantages, exploit its depth of research talent, engineering expertise and creative community and leverage these ingredients to shape our region into one that can be renowned as a smart city.
The partners behind the Hunter Innovation Project have declared their stance: The future should embrace innovation-led growth in order to sustain our role as a dynamic economy in the years to come.
Our collective vision is to establish and nurture an innovation ecosystem within the Hunter Region.
The HIP will help achieve this vision through establishment of smart city infrastructure and a digitally connected innovation precinct. This will enhance the appeal of Newcastle and the Hunter to businesses and entrepreneurs in the technology and digital-creative sectors.
Newcastle and the Hunter Region is a vibrant, prosperous and future-focussed community. We celebrate an enviable lifestyle and a creative, cohesive society, secure in a knowledge-based, diverse and sustainable economy.
The future economic prosperity of the Hunter region will rely heavily on its capacity to turn people’s ideas into services and products that create value.
The Hunter Innovation Project will foster economic growth and employment in the Hunter regional economy particularly in new and emerging industries. It will act as a magnet to attract, retain, and develop talent and additional investment in the new knowledge-based economy and beyond.
The new economic paradigm for Newcastle and the region will be about participating in, if not leading, the creative/ disruptive forces which will create the value add and jobs of the future in new and expanding markets.
The Hunter Innovation Project will provide physical spaces, data connectivity and smart infrastructure to increase productivity and leverage investment in research and technology in Newcastle and the Hunter Region. This innovation-enabling infrastructure will support entrepreneurs, tech and knowledge-related start-ups and existing enterprises in both traditional and emergent sectors to take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy, green technology, advanced manufacturing, health, education and smart city management.
The HIP will deliver three key elements:
Smart City Infrastructure
The Hunter Innovation Project is deploying smart cities infrastructure initially throughout the Newcastle city centre. Digital connectivity through WiFi and LPWAN (low power wide area networks) will link sensors and integrated technology to provide detailed real time city data, facilitating an open-ended range of services and applications to improve the ease of access, efficiency and liveability of the city for residents, businesses and tourists. Initial applications include smart parking, smart lighting, and public WiFi.
A central piece of the Hunter Innovation Project is a dedicated facility in the Newcastle city centre bringing together researchers, students, developers, entrepreneurs, investors, technical specialists and business advisors. By linking with existing Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs, the Innovation Hub will facilitate the launch of spinoffs, start-ups and mature companies; attract investment and businesses to the Hunter Region; encourage innovation and commercialisation; and produce the next generation of entrepreneurs, business leaders and inventors.
The Hunter Innovation Project will seed a designated zone within Newcastle City Centre with high speed fibre broadband (fttp). This concentrated capability will give the Hunter Region a key competitive advantage in attracting and retaining high-tech, digital and creative industries to stay or locate in the region. Additional investment in technology-integrated public domain will create a city environment attracting entrepreneurs, start-ups, and SMEs to locate, cluster and co-create a dynamic digital precinct in the heart of the new Newcastle.