The Hunter’s future economy will be on the agenda when leaders and entrepreneurs meet in Newcastle on Wednesday.
They will be examining where the smart money will come from to create jobs and prosperity.
Leading up to the event, the Newcastle Herald reported a series of stories on Regional Development Hunter’s aim to transform the region’s economy.
This involved the creation of a “smart specialisation” strategy, which matched the European Union’s approach to economic development and trade.
The strategy aimed to highlight sectors expected to create the region’s future jobs.
These sectors would require research, innovation and collaboration for improved prosperity.
This will be the key theme at the Harbourview Function Centre event, where speakers will include Senator Arthur Sinodinos and the European Union’s Ivano Casella.
Regional Development Hunter chief executive Todd Williams said the event would be important for the region.
Mr Casella will present a European case study on smart specialisation.
Adoption of this system was a way for Australian organisations to work with the European Union, he said.
Australia’s trade with the EU amounted to $83.9 billion in 2014.
Mr Williams said the Hunter could learn from the EU, which was the world’s largest economy.
“One of their main ways of creating jobs and prosperity is through exporting knowledge and innovation,” he said.
In line with the strategy, Regional Development Hunter pinpointed the region’s seven competitive advantages.
These were: food and agribusiness; mining equipment, technology and services; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; oil, gas and energy resources; advanced manufacturing; defence; and creative industries.
Readers can vote in an online Herald poll about which sector they think will be most important to the Hunter's future economy.
Mr Williams said the Hunter could partner with the Ruhr region in Germany to learn how it transformed from an old coal and steel region into a hub for specialist manufacturing.
German Ambassador to Australia, Christoph Muller, said the Ruhr region’s economic transformation was “highly successful”.
“The German Embassy welcomes the [smart specialisation] initiative in the Hunter,” Dr Muller said.