Newcastle – a great Landing Pad for innovation

Of all the building blocks required for innovation, collaboration would have to be one of the most integral.

This is a fact well-known by the City of Newcastle, which has entered a partnership with the University of Newcastle aimed at diversifying and increasing the local skills base.

The Landing Pad is a shared working space located at the university’s Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) with access to Smart City infrastructure, connections to investor networks and invaluable collaboration with academic experts.

And innovators from Australia and around the world are being offered a free three-month membership, until June 2023, to the innovative workspace.

Three people working in a small office at the Landing Pad

City of Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said that the Landing Pad was essentially “flipping the script”.

“Local governments often spend a lot of time and money trying to attract big businesses. We've flipped that narrative and are attracting highly skilled entrepreneurs who’ll bring their networks, their expertise, and their innovative businesses to create local opportunities,” he said.

"City of Newcastle's Economic Development Strategy is built around people, and the Landing Pad provides extra encouragement for entrepreneurs to build their base from our city and help create new jobs or support emerging industries.”

Cr Clausen added that the initiative was a great way for entrepreneurs to experience the city and its innovative and forward-thinking nature before relocating permanently.

“People considering a move away from the big cities will experience the best of modern Newcastle, a place brimming with innovators, a vibrant night-life, and business confidence, with more than $100m in DAs approved by Council each month,” he said.

The outside of the Q Building, where the University of Newcastle's I2N Hub and the Landing Pad are situated

Senior Manager of I2N and Innovation at the University of Newcastle Siobhan Curran said that the networking and collaboration opportunities that the Landing Pad offer are invaluable to start-ups.

"The Landing Pad offers professional office facilities, mentoring opportunities and a network of like-minded people in an enviable location.

“You might strike up a conversation in the cafe or kitchen that could spark your next collaboration or connect you to customers and clients. You need to increase your surface area for luck to strike, and it’s harder to do that at home on your laptop.”

Two women talking at the Landing Pad

Kate Brettell, a woman’s leadership coach and facilitator and Landing Pad recipient, said that the networking opportunities Landing Pad affords have been invaluable.

“Having this space has been fantastic to connect with people. One of the things I find challenging about having my own business is loneliness. I'm a people-person and an extrovert. I get my energy from collaborating with others.”

Click here to find out more about the opportunities that await you at The Landing Pad.