The project plan for Central Coast industry Connect that was submitted in the application, focused on supporting SME’s in the food and agri business in the engagement process with researchers and government. It had a focus in developing SME’s in their go to market processes, looking at ideation, product development, consumer testing and commercialisation.

It also considers opportunities in collaboration between SME’s and our larger food process organisations to develop and launch unique product offerings and to explore how food can be used in a preventative health sense, leveraging our two largest Sectors in value-add terms, Health & Food.

The cluster is to be industry lead in its activities, a key requirement of the funding contract. To make this happen a Steering committee has been established to guide and drive the initiative. The scope of the committee’s work, although guided by the initial submission, will change based on the industry needs.

The committee is made up a broad range of people covering Industry, all levels of Government and the University of Newcastle. The Chair of the Committee is Peter Crane, Executive Director of Food Futures Company and the alliance is managed day to day by Alex Blow, whose previous role was with Mars Foods where he was Program Manager for the Seeds of Change  Program and Innovation Manager prior to that.