The global president of NEC Takashi Niino was impressed with Wollongong's skilled workforce and beauty while in the city on Thursday as part of his visit to Australia.
Mr Niino enjoyed morning tea with NEC Wollongong staff before enjoying lunch on the foreshore.
The timing of the visit could not have been any more perfect with Mr Niino celebrating the ICT solutions and services company being named the 2017 winner of the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment’s Investment Award.
Part of the Australian Export Awards, the investment award presented by Federal MP Steven Ciobo in Canberra to NEC’s chief operating officer Mike Barber the day before Mr Niino’s visit to Wollongong, recognises NEC’s significant investments in Australian innovation over the past decade. The Australian Export Awards recognise the achievements that leading Australian companies have made to improve Australia’s global competitiveness.
Austrade and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly host the Australian Export Awards to celebrate outstanding private sector contributions to Australian innovation and ICT exports.
Mr Barber said NEC had not only invested more than A$200 million in Australia over the past 15 years but A$40 million of that had been spent in the Illawarra at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus.
“The mutual support from Australia and Japan allows us to create value through sharing knowledge in a way that delivers benefits to everyone through innovation that boosts value and drives down costs,” Mr Barber said.
Mr Niino was keen to both meet NEC staff and tour the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus and see the iAccelerate facility that has become a hub for the start-up community in the Illawarra, already housing close to 300 innovative young businesses.
NEC Australia invested $25 million when it opened a Wollongong office in the Enterprise 1 building in September 2016.
A total of 130 new technology jobs have been created and many UOW students have been connected to graduate opportunities with the global company.
Read more: NEC Australia opens new Wollongong office