The team at Central Coast Industry Connect has 5 key focus areas it works against.
- Advancing knowledge and technology in Central Coast manufacturers.
- Making the Central Coast a Food manufacturing destination.
- Ensuring the sector has a pipeline of workers and talent to take it into the future.
- Establishing the Central Coast as a Circular Economy Hub.
- Membership and sponsorship.
Some of our initiatives and outcomes against the above focus areas are listed below.
The 2023 year has been an exceptional year for CCIC in the food manufacturing area, having secured land from Central Coast Council to build a Food Manufacturing Innovation hub and securing $17.14M of funding from the Federal government to build the hub. Along with this the Makers Food Trail has been expanded, a business case funded by the state government to look at the viability of establishing a Food and Beverage Warehouse and distribution centre in the Hunter Central Coast region has been completed and a Food innovation program has been developed and is now being delivered.
In the general manufacturing space CCIC has established a Circular Economy (CE) strategy with the help of a group of manufacturers that will initially focus on educating local manufacturers on CE initiatives and establishing a strong sector in this area. The Central Coast is well positioned to be a CE hub with a number of well known businesses already leading the way in this area.
This year CCIC launched its well being cluster supporting SME manufacturers manage mental health in their workplaces. This peer network has taken a broader remit with other industry sectors now included bring a diversity of experiences and knowledge to the group.
This year also saw the establishment of its “Women in Manufacturing” program supporting those women who are owners or senior people in manufacturing providing a network of support and an opportunity to share challenges and opportunities. We also launched our next Central Coast industry Festival which will be held on the 6th & 7th of March at Mingara off the back of the highly successful 2022 festival.
Our student work involved attending the careers night at St Edwards promoting careers in manufacturing and food manufacturing. We supported the “Pathways to Manufacturing Pilot grogram” with Kariong Mountains High together with some of our members. Alex and some of our food manufacturers visited schools to promote food science careers.
In our events area we had 3 site visit networking sessions, delivered 10 workshops, 2 breakfast meetings and a lunchtime meeting of food manufacturers.
In September 2023 we conducted our biannual survey of our manufacturers to ascertain where the sector is at, its challenges and opportunities and also the survey canvassed what CCIC should be focused on to support the sector going forward. Results will be shared in our next newsletter.
The last quarter of the year Central Coast Manufacturers features as award winners. In October Arc Into Tech took out the Excellence in Innovation award for Business NSW Central Coast and in November went on to win the same award in the Business NSW state awards along with the Business of the Year award. Later in October at the Hunter Manufacturing Awards Craig de Leon MD at Elecbrakes took out the Manufacturing Leader award and this was followed by Janus Electric who took out the Outstanding Start-Up Award. Member Hydrogen at Home, was named finalist in the 2023 Startup Daily Best in Tech awards in August and also a finalist in the Hunter Manufacturing Awards OutstandingStartup award. Central Coast manufacturing continues to show it has great capability.
Overall the new has produced an outstanding list of achievements and activities.