Council driving innovation in small business

17 Feb 2017

Newcastle City Council will help small businesses leverage innovation to improve their operations and bottom line as part of the NSW Government’s Back to Business Week.

A panel of speakers will provide a range of information and touch on case studies later this month at an Innovation and Small Business Breakfast for businesses owners and managers eager to embrace innovation to meet their client and customer needs.

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor Kevin Hall will discuss how small businesses in Newcastle are able to get the best value from the Hunter Innovation Project and the University of Newcastle's Integrated Innovation Network (I2N).

The Hunter Innovation Project will establish an innovation ecosystem, featuring a hub for tech entrepreneurs to work with industry, as part of a $20 million collaboration between Newcastle City Council, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Newcastle will soon be one of the few cities in Australia with a CBD Digital Precinct where anyone can access our free high-speed Wi-Fi.

"And so many productivity and sustainability improvements are set to flow from the Hunter Innovation Project after our early successes using sensor technology to detect when streets are at their busiest and regulate traffic flow and save energy," Councillor Nelmes said.

Newcastle City Council Smart City Coordinator Dr Nathaniel Bavinton will provide the latest in Council's Smart City Initiatives at the Fort Scratchley breakfast.

“We want to challenge people in their thinking about the future opportunities in Newcastle and the role they are able to play,” Dr Bavinton said.

Local safety consultancy owner Sarah-Jane Dunford will discuss innovation in action, using her experiences as a small business owner and entrepreneur.

Ms Dunford understands that to set her business, Riskology, apart from her competitors, constant innovation is a must.

“Innovation at Riskology starts from the branding, right through to our approach to the delivery of services and products,” she said.

“We want to be flexible in the way we work internally, as well as how we interact with our clients.”

The Innovation and Small Business breakfast will be held on Monday 27 February at Fort Scratchley from 7am. Tickets are just $20 thanks to support from the NSW Government Back to Business Week program.

Tickets can be purchased here