Pictured: David Laing, Graham Lancaster, Emilio Salucci, Ross Kennedy, Evangelos Mourmourakis, (back row) with Shane Beckett, Emma Bentton and Karl Barnett at an i3net forum. Credit: GREG ELLIS
Wollongong's manufacturing cluster i3net continues to go from strength to strength with 33 new members signing on since the beginning of the year.
At an i3net members and sponsors feedback forum on Friday, Illawarra Innovative Industry Network (i3net) chairman Emilio Salucci, of Transfield Services, revealed how well the new board's quest to grow the organisation was working.
Earlier this year Mr Salucci said the board was developing a five-year strategic plan to help map the way forward by focusing on goals and objectives for the short, medium and long term.
Among the key objectives for 2013 was to expand the membership base to include representation from all local industry.
"We are extremely happy with how things are going," Mr Salucci said.
Among the new members at Friday's forum were Evangelos Mourmourakis, of CompuEase Consulting Services, and Shane Beckett, of S&R Beckett, who said he joined to get into a network to discuss important issues with similar businesses and services.
Mr Beckett said he loved how i3net members referred business to each other, teamed up to win business for the city and used each other's services.
"I heard about them through a few people in the industry who thought I would fit in really well with this group," he said.
Karl Barnett, of Vesuvius Australia, said that his business had been able to tap into the resources and know-how it needed for its move from Bulli to Port Kembla.
Vesuvius even appointed an i3net member, Dr Sander Kroes of Five Ys, as the consulting project manager.
CTPM Australasia managing director Ross Kennedy joined after attending a number of meetings and finding out valuable information he was able to pass on to his clients about such things as government assistance and incentives available for business and industry.
Graham Lancaster, of Access Law Group and The Illawarra Connection, said it was great to see connections being made between various industries and business organisations.
"It is good to have a group where businesses support each other but you need to have links with other groups," he said.
"We also think we can offer something with our professional services."