Illawarra industry is focusing on opportunities in defence at the start of 2017.

Defence focus: Illawarra Innovative Industry Network executive officer Tony Green oversees the first industry breakfast of 2017 at Kembla Grange. Pic: Greg Ellis.
Defence focus: Illawarra Innovative Industry Network executive officer Tony Green oversees the first industry breakfast of 2017 at Kembla Grange. Pic: Greg Ellis.

Illawarra industry is focusing on opportunities in defence at the start of 2017.

It begins with the Illawarra Innovative Industry Network (i3net) hosting the new Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) at the first industry breakfast for the year this Friday at Kembla Grange.

Executive officer Tony Green said the federal government recently announced the establishment of the Centre for Defence Industry Capability in Adelaide.

“It will provide advice for Australian industry, supporting growth and facilitating innovation within the defence industry sector,” he said.

The Centre for Defence Industry Capability is being staffed by business advisers able to leverage the ‘whole of government’ support available to businesses.

They will also provide expert advice in areas such as business improvement, skills development, export and supply chains, supplier continuous improvement, defence market preparedness and defence innovation proposal submission.

Mr Green said Belinda Ernst, a defence industry advisor for NSW and the ACT, is the keynote speaker for Friday morning’s breakfast.

Her presentation is on the role of the CDIC and how it can help local business and industry in the Illawarra access opportunities in the Defence sector.

The first i3net industry breakfast for the year at The Grange Function Rooms is also giving local business an opportunity to find out more about the University of Wollongong’s Advantage SME Program.

Advantage SME Program manager Zahra Shahbazian is providing an insight into how the initiative might be able to help i3net members.

Illawarra small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to focus their efforts on knowledge intensive ICT, shared and financial services, engineering and Defence are among those set to benefit most from the new progra.

The aim is to grow jobs and businesses in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven and the communities along the South Coast.

University of Wollongong has partnered with the NSW Government to deliver the Advantage SME Program. The initiative is being funded as part of the NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Program. Future i3net breakfasts are on March 16, April 6 and May 12.

 Zahra Shahbazian

Zahra Shahbazian