The Central Coast Hunter (CCH) has a small but growing cluster of more than 50 medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, digital health and wellness companies supported by a robust Health system, a world-renowned research sector, first class education providers, proactive government support, regulatory experts and experienced contract research organisations.





Central Coast
The Central Coast is well serviced by road and rail infrastructure, with passenger and freight connections through the region. Strategically located for logistics such as warehousing, distribution and movement of freight, the Central Coast has cost-effective access to key consumer markets and export opportunities.

The Central Coast is home to several household food manufacturing brands and agricultural production industries specialising in poultry, citrus and horticulture. Overseas and domestic demand will support growth in these sectors.

The region’s strong services base will continue to drive employment opportunities in health, education, retail and other service sectors. Growth is expected in knowledge-based industries, which can provide more opportunities for professional, technical and scientific services, and the education and training sectors.

By 2036, the Central Coast’s population is expected to grow to more than 415,050, driving the need for employment, investment in infrastructure and housing construction growth.

The region’s ageing population means 27 per cent of people will be aged above 65 by 2036, placing demand on health care and social services, which is already the largest sector of employers on the Central Coast.

State-of-the-art medical facilities and a diverse range of primary and secondary health care services provide high-quality health care within the region. Ongoing investment in these sectors will be critical to meet the needs of the growing population.


The Hunter is one of the largest regional economies in Australia, ranking above Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in terms of economic output. It drives around 28 per cent of regional NSW’s total economic output and is the largest regional contributor to the State’s gross domestic product.

The region has an estimated 322,000 jobs projected to increase to 384,000 by 2036. There is potential to achieve higher jobs growth by planning for more diversified use of employment land.

The economy is increasingly diversified, with strong growth occurring in health care, social assistance, accommodation, food and professional services. This growth demonstrates the region is well placed to benefit from the macro trends affecting the Australian economy, such as the ageing population and greater exposure to the global economy.

The Hunter is strategically situated to leverage proximity to Asia and the region’s growing agricultural, health, education and tourism sectors to supply developing Asian economies with resources and products.

The development of strategic employment centres is a priority and includes specialist centres like the University of Newcastle, John Hunter Hospital, the Port of Newcastle and Newcastle Airport. Growth in these centres will expand the regional economy and support more jobs close to where people live.

The Upper Hunter will undergo a transition in the context of a changing industry environment, particularly in mining and power generation, and emerging trends in agribusiness.


At more than half-a-trillion dollars, New South Wales is Australia’s largest state economy, accounting for around a third of the nation’s economic output and home to nearly a third of Australians.

The NSW population, which currently stands at 8.1 million people, has grown at an average of 1.1 per cent over the last 30-years. NSW population experienced a more rapid rise in the seven years leading up to 2018-19 as a strong labour market attracted workers from other states and a larger share of overseas migrants.

The state’s more than four million strong labour force is employed across this diverse range of industries, the largest employers being the health and social care, professional, scientific and technical services and retail trade sectors.

New South Wales has a diverse export base of manufactured goods, natural resources and services. Major merchandise exports include coal, copper, beef and aluminium. The primary export destinations for goods are Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, while the major suppliers of imported goods are China, the United States and Germany.


According to Austrade, Australia is a trading nation, with exports and imports of goods and services making up 42 per cent of our gross domestic product in 2018–19. With 14 free trade agreements in place, approximately 70 per cent of Australian trade enjoys liberalised access to overseas markets.

Twelve of our 15 largest markets are in Asia and Oceania, generating a trade value of around A$577 billion in 2018–19. Trade in services has grown at 6.3 per cent per year for the past two decades, helping to steadily broaden our export mix beyond resources and agriculture.

Growing 8.5 per cent per year since 2011, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows help power our capital-intensive industries. In 2019, the mining sector accounted for 35.3 per cent of the total stock of overseas investment in Australia, worth A$360 billion. This FDI directly contributes to Australia’s minerals and energy exports, which reached around A$280 billion in 2018–19. Australia’s thriving manufacturing sector attracted A$131 billion of overseas investment in 2018–19.



People are the key ingredient for industry success: a skilled, motivated workforce underpins quality service and production and meaningful collaboration. The CCH boasts world renowned clinical experts who are delivering medical breakthroughs; doctors and researchers many of whom trained at the well-respected College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing at the University of Newcastle; patient-facing nursing and support staff – graduates of the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW; Medical Engineering graduates from the University of Newcastle; researchers engaged in new to the world projects at HMRI and CCCSRI; international industry cluster development experts; industry and manufacturing leaders; and many others.

CCH’s expert workforce engages at all levels to identify and solve patient-centric problems, unmet clinical needs and industry sector challenges.


CCH is seeing an increase in international MTP focused companies establishing offices or operating locally. Bosch Manufacturing Australia and Phastar have locally based representatives who are engaging in the MTP ecosystem through MedTeCCH.


The CCH combines deep sector expertise with strong, supportive collaboration to deliver successful, commercial outcomes. Its MTP precinct offers a unique enabling environment with a combination of high-profile and high performing organisations that nurture and enable success. They include:

  • University of Newcastle
  • Two engaged Local Health Districts (Hunter and Central Coast Local Health Districts)
  • Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • Central Coast Clinical School & Research Institute
  • R&D labs + Innovation hubs
  • Industry specialised service providers (CROs)
  • Connecting/co-ordinating organisations

University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle researchers drive discoveries that challenge conventional thinking and change lives. 95% of its research is rated ‘at or above world standard’ by the 2018 Excellence in Research Australia evaluation of research quality in Universities, administered by the Australian Research Council.

The University of Newcastle applies engineering, science, medical and research skills to solve a broad range of problems in collaboration with its industry and local area health partners. Its research areas of focus include:

Priority Research Centre for Drug Development

The Priority Research Centre for Drug Development is committed to providing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of human disease by bringing together research teams of international excellence from chemistry, biology and medicine. The Centre focuses on unravelling the causes of disease, identifying crucial biological targets and pioneers the rapid development of novel drugs for the fight against disease.

The Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition

The Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition investigates physical activity and nutrition for population health. The Centre targets “at risk” populations, multiple levels (individual, social, organisational, population) and within various settings (schools, clinics, workplaces, communities). The primary aim of the Centre is to achieve high quality research, training, and knowledge translation in the development and testing of efficacious/effective, theory-driven, multi-level, population-based physical activity and nutrition-related interventions and natural experiments.

The Priority Research Centre for Cancer Research

The Priority Research Centre for Cancer Research, Innovation and Translation integrates basic science & clinical research bi-directionally, to facilitate rapid development and implementation of its research discoveries, and to stimulate lab research on priority questions generated from the clinic. The PRC CaRIT offers an integrated program of basic science and clinical trials, linked with histo- and molecular-pathology to research diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies precisely tailored to individual requirements.

The Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs

The Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular processes that are associated with the development and progression of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These are the two major chronic respiratory diseases in Australia, with the incidence of asthma among the highest in the world, and COPD a major cause of death. The Centre acts as a national training centre for clinician scientists, postdoctoral fellows, PhD scholars and undergraduates in respiratory medicine.

The Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research

The Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research (CBMHR) is focused on increasing its understanding of the brain and mind across the lifespan, in the absence and presence of disease. The Centre hosts three platforms for research: Preclinical Neurobiology, Psychological Processes and Mental Health. The Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research (CBMHR) is a cross-disciplinary group of leading researchers from diverse fields that bridge brain science with the study of social elements of health and illness. Together, neurobiologists, psychologists, and mental health researchers use the most advanced techniques to explore brain-behaviour nexus.

The Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science

The Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science creates new knowledge in how successful reproduction occurs in humans and animals. Key areas include Aboriginal health and the male and female factors that lead to birth of a healthy baby. Through close collaboration with industry, the Centre develops diagnostics and therapeutics. The Centre for Reproductive Science targets the future health of all Australians providing key information on the determinants of a healthy start to life.

The Centre for Resources Health and Safety

The Centre for Resources Health and Safety provides leadership in the growth of interdisciplinary activities in resources, health and safety. The CRHS recognises expertise across a range of disciplines including workplace health and safety, respiratory studies, psychology, psychiatry, and environmental/social science to benefit industry and community health and safety. A program provides leadership in the growth of interdisciplinary activities in resources health and safety, recognising expertise across a range of disciplines including workplace health and safety, respiratory studies, psychology, psychiatry, and environmental/social science to benefit industry and community health and safety.

The Centre for Advanced Training Systems

The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS), creates training platforms that empower trainees, trainers and their host-organisations. It has worked with major partners in Defence, Health and Education to design, deliver and deploy digital training systems. ATS specialises in developing scalable training interventions that incorporate the inner world (attention, memory and emotions) of trainees into the training process.

The Priority Clinical Centre for Cardiovascular Health

The Priority Clinical Centre for Cardiovascular Health research spans basic science, clinical and translational studies to identify therapeutic targets and enhance clinical outcomes for cardiovascular health across the Hunter region. The PCC CVH has state of the art research facilities at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, at the University of Newcastle Callaghan Campus, and within the Hunter New England Health service at the John Hunter and Calvary Mater Hospitals.

The Clinical Nutrition Research Centre

The Clinical Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC) is a unique multi-institutional collaboration in preventive health research. It seeks to capitalise on the collective strengths of University of Newcastle, University of South Australia, University of Southern Queensland and Swinburne University of Technology to generate evidence to optimise physical and mental fitness and counteract chronic non-communicable diseases. It comprises leading Australian expertise in the design and conduct of human intervention trials to evaluate cardiovascular, metabolic, anti-inflammatory and mental health benefits of specific diet modifications and physical activity programs.

The Priority Research Centre for Digestive Health and Neurogastroenterology

The Priority Research Centre for Digestive Health and Neurogastroenterology brings together multi-disciplinary team which aims to effectively diagnose and treat common functional gut disorders (dyspepsia and IBS), neuromuscular diseases of the gut and eosinophil-driven chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions through technologically advanced research which has identified novel pathophysiological mechanisms.
The Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Research group

The Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Research group focuses on research into the use of both ionising and non-ionising radiation in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. This group brings together academic staff and researchers from the discipline of Medical Radiation Science. Our researchers have expertise in medical physics, radiation therapy and medical imaging techniques; including radiography, CT, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, MRI, mammography, PET imaging, and DEXA bone and body composition analysis.

The Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma

The Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma brings together researchers from across Australia. It is developing innovative approaches to understand why severe asthma occurs, developing tools and programmes to improve disease management and improving access to new therapies. In Australia, 10% of the population have asthma, and a subset have severe asthma.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)

HMRI, located within the John Hunter Hospital Precinct, is a collaboration between the Hunter New England LHD and the University of Newcastle to increase the pace of research translation from discovery to clinical practice. It is a network of over 1500 researchers, students, and support staff from HNELHD and the University, inspiring new discoveries to deliver a healthier future. The key areas of focus include brain and mental health, cancer, cardiovascular, pregnancy and reproduction, public health, viruses, infections/Immunity, vaccines, and Asthma (VIVA).

The Central Coast Medical School Research Institute (CCMSRI)

The new $85million Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute (CCMSRI) will open at Gosford Hospital in 2021. A joint project with the Central Coast Local Health District – and funded by the Federal and NSW State Government – the CCMSRI, for the first time, allows students studying medicine to complete the full Bachelor of Medicine program on the Central Coast.

R&D Strength + Innovation Hubs

The Hunter’s innovative business environment supports collaboration between enterprise, tertiary education, research and government. This ensures knowledge sharing, technical development and a positive attitude to new ideas is translated into commercial products.

Partnerships are evidenced in the range of innovation and R&D hubs and incubators that provide support and commercialisation advice to the region’s strong start-up sector and established firms. The Melt, Eighteen04, I2N, Dashworks and Fastlab provide R&D as a service, physical spaces for collaboration and access to expert advice and support for commercialisation.

Ideas Hub at Gosford Hospital

The new technology and innovation ‘Ideas Hub’ has recently been launched by Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD). The aim of the hub, located within Gosford Hospital, is to identify and address healthcare challenges and work with all CCLHD facilities, local businesses, entrepreneurs and health staff to improve staff and patient experiences. Health staff is heavily involved in generating ideas that will improve day-to-day processes as well as patient experience.

Contract Research Organisations and Professional Services

The Central Coast Hunter has a strong professional services sector with representation by leading national and international firms like PwC as well as locally-grown firms that provide support to the region’s industry base. The region is also well represented by a growing group of Contract Research Organisations that provide expertise and experience in a broad range of MTP related fields. CCH’s CROs like Genesis Research Services and Paratus Clinical enable and support clinical research providing confidence to the international companies and local SMEs that conduct their research in the region.


Central Coast Hunter area provides a fantastic test bed for MedTech development. It is supported by University research across multiple campuses, Medical Research Institutes and Local Health Districts that provide care to adults and paediatric patients, and patients who experience trauma in large referral centres, and regional and rural hospitals.

The John Hunter Hospital manages the most emergency department presentations in the state. The NSWHP PoCT Service supports over 34,000 clinical staff to operate PoCT technologies and has developed a group of over 900 “superusers” who provide onsite assistance for the PoCT team in training and device management. In addition to this the PoCT Service has well-established technology evaluation and clinical trials programs. These can provide access for technology providers to compare against gold standard diagnostic platforms and the opportunity to evaluate the clinical utility of equipment through a formal clinical trial.


MTP Connect

The CCH is supported by Australian government initiatives like the Industry Growth Centres that are helping build connections and leverage partnerships. MTPConnect, the Medical Technologies and Pharma Industry Growth Centre, is a strong supporter and contributor to the growth of the Central Coast Hunter’s MTP sector and efforts to co-ordinate the ecosystem.

MTPConnect is actively calling for change to support the MTP sector, raising awareness, fostering collaboration and competition, and sharing knowledge with the broader sector. It also jointly funds projects that address the Sector Growth Priorities and the constraints and gaps identified in the sector.

MTPConnect’s work is focused in four key areas:

  • Increasing collaboration and commercialisation across the sector
  • Improving management and workforce skills
  • Improving access to global supply chains and international markets
  • Optimising the regulatory environment

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) was established in 2015 as a key plank of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre Initiative. Its goal is to drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness across Australia’s manufacturing industry.

AMGC is an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation. It is connected with a nationwide network of manufacturers, universities and research institutions, and export hubs.

The Centre’s role is to share its respected research on how the industry can transform to become more advanced. AMGC puts its research into action by engaging with manufacturers and universities in high-impact projects and export hub opportunities.

Australian and NSW Government Support

Strong bi-partisan connections with Members of Parliament and departmental representatives ensure the Central Coast Hunter is recognised for the contribution it makes to the national economy and the potential for increased its burgeoning industries can make.


The region is large and diverse with a combined patient population of approximately 1,000,000 people and a large indigenous population – approximately 60,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in Hunter New England Local Health District and 12,500 in Central Coast Local Health District – 27% of the NSW indigenous population. Approximately 20% of the CCH population was born overseas and 15% speak a language other than English at home. The region’s median age is 40.



The CCH has a diversity of settings providing opportunity for a range of clinical applications, delivery and testing. Across the region there are cities and metropolitan areas, urban, rural and remote locations each with access to health infrastructure and services.


The CCH is proud of its collaborative business and industry environment – demonstrated by long-established and successful network organisations like Hunternet which were founded when competitor companies joined forces to facilitate knowledge exchange, and together solve industry problems and plug skills and intelligence gaps. In recent times swift and effective collaboration has resulted in solutions to such problems as ventilators for COVID-19 patients, in-hospital tracking systems and point of care testing devices.


The Central Coast Hunter Health industry is pro-active and focused on innovation, teaching and research. The region has a large and diverse population which is often referred to as a microcosm of Australia. As such, the region has been a go-to test bed for companies like McDonalds and for products like driverless cars and parking sensor apps.

The region is large enough to have a complex economy and a self-sustaining marketplace, but small enough that business, education, research and government communities are known to one another making collaboration natural – it’s a “Goldilocks City” according to Hunter advocate, electrical engineer and co-founder of Eighteen04, Dr Gunilla Burrowes and “an ideal candidate to be a “living lab” – a place where companies can trial their inventions to see how they perform in the real world” according to The Guardian.

The region’s capital, Newcastle, is a smart city. It has adopted and developed a range of initiatives that are creating a smart, liveable and sustainable global future.