From Gosford in the south, Taree north and Murrurundi in the west there is a concentration of over 50 companies operating in the MTP sector. The density of these firms creates a defined precinct on Australia’s east coast, north of Greater Sydney that has access to world class research facilities, two Local Health Districts and the benefits of simple logistics and supply chains.

There’s opportunity now to build on the region’s MTP capability.

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WHY IS MTP A FOCUS FOR THE CENTRAL COAST HUNTER WEB VERSION

WHY IS MTP A FOCUS FOR THE CENTRAL COAST HUNTER PRINT VERSION

The Hunter has a strong and prolific history as a manufacturing hub. Shipbuilding was a mainstay of the region’s thriving manufacturing base until 1987; steelmaking underpinned its economic strength until 1999 and now, in 2021, its billion-dollar mining and defence sectors continue to call on the region’s high-performing SME base (e.g., Newcastle Machine Shop, Ampcontrol) to produce vital equipment and technology.

The region’s history in traditional industries and regulated fields means it has an increased concentration of people with engineering skills at both technical and trade levels. These skills, coupled with a track record of adaptability due to economic shocks like we saw when BHP’s steelmaking ceased in 1999 and the steady transition to Industry 4.0 processes, has increased the ease with which CCH industry is able to pivot and apply transferrable skills and knowledge into new, high-tech industry sectors like medical technology. The region’s engineering pedigree delivers an experienced approach that results in smart, technically sophisticated solutions.

The regulatory/governance/quality management systems skills essential in the CCH’s traditional industries is another set of transferrable skills and a key asset.

The regulatory/governance/quality management systems skills essential in the CCH’s traditional industries is another set of transferrable skills and a key asset.

Central Coast Hunter is represented by two health districts, Hunter New England Health and Central Coast Health.

Hunter New England Health (HNELHD) provides services to:

It incorporates the John Hunter health complex which comprises John Hunter (JHH) Teaching Hospital and the developing John Hunter Health Innovation Precinct project.

Central Coast Health (CCHLD) comprises two acute hospitals – Gosford and Wyong. Gosford Hospital is the principal referral hospital and regional trauma centre for the Central Coast, Wyong Hospital is a major metropolitan hospital.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter is part of a national network of Committees made up of local leaders who work with all levels of government, business and community groups to support the economic development of their regions.

RDA Hunter has an active and facilitative role in the Hunter. Its clear focus is on growing a strong and confident regional economy that harnesses its competitive advantages, seizes economic opportunities and attracts investment.

In 2015 RDA Hunter undertook a strategic study to inform its activities to support economic development in the region. Based on an OECD framework and launched by Prime Minister Turnbull in 2016, Smart Specialisation for the Hunter Region identified seven sectors of competitive advantage. Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals was included because of the region’s strong, health and manufacturing capability and the sector’s propensity to deliver innovation-driven jobs growth.

Australian Industry (Ai) Group is a peak national employer organisation and has worked with members for almost 150 years. Its members include some of Australia’s largest Medical and Pharmaceutical companies.

The Newcastle office of Ai Group supports many businesses with a history of operating within highly regulated markets and supply chains. The establishment of a cluster serves these organisations well as they embark on a path of growth and diversification through collaboration with some of Australia’s preeminent medical research institutions.

This connection between research and industry serves the nation through the establishment of new capability and increased capacity, contributing to both sovereign security and economic prosperity for the region.

In 2021, Governments are focused on building the economy and creating jobs. They are developing policies which play to Australia’s strengths, and funding activities to improve collaboration and commercialisation. They are shaping modern, dynamic and highly skilled industry sectors that build the country’s sovereignty and self-sufficiency.

Australian and State governments have identified priority sectors which reflect Australia’s established competitive advantages and emerging areas of strength. Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals is one of the sectors identified and supported by plans like the NSW Government’s Accelerating R&D in NSW and the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

In 2020 world events like COVID-19, the economic pressures it catalysed and the impacts of a shift to new renewable energy sources, have led to a more immediate focus on shoring up homegrown, local capability, seizing opportunities to diversify, transferring and applying existing skills in new areas and creating high-value jobs of the future.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter and the Hunter office of the Australian Industry (Ai) Group, identified MedTech as an industry that presented opportunities for sustainable growth and formed MedTeCCH. MedTeCCH is a collaboration of Central Coast Hunter-based MedTech and Pharma companies, national industry associations, sector specialists, and education & research organisations, to strengthen the region’s diverse MTP cluster and raise the profile of the region and its industrial capabilities.