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University and Port to strengthen region’s future

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The Hunter region’s growth, economic diversification and social cohesion are at the heart of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the University of Newcastle and Port of Newcastle.

In a first for the area, the two organisations have pledged to collaborate across areas including research, development and enabling platforms; talent development; innovation programs; community engagement and collaboration, including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and energy hub and precinct development.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody and University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO met at NUspace in the Newcastle CBD to sign the five-year framework.

“In addition to being an inaugural Gold sponsorship member of the university’s Integrated Innovation Network, Port of Newcastle is partnering with University of Newcastle to create a new spectrum of future learning and career pathway opportunities for students and local jobs,” the former said.

“That will support the development of new economies and the long-term prosperity of Australia’s deep-water global gateway and the Hunter region.

“Through this partnership we will be able to identify collaborative opportunities in research and development, talent development and education, innovation programs, community engagement, diversity and new trades development that will be needed into the future to support the Port’s diversification agenda and local industries as they evolve.

“Our Port is already a significant driver of economic prosperity in the Hunter and this partnership with the University of Newcastle will, through educational and integrated employment opportunities, inspire the next generations of Port workers and ensure the region has several significant growth industries to create jobs in the near future and for our children in the decades ahead.”

Professor Zelinsky added it was exciting to collaborate with such an important and high performing organisation like Port of Newcastle to make sure the Hunter region was ahead of the shifts happening in the economy.

“Through the Newcastle Institute of Energy and Resources, we will strengthen our work with the Port of Newcastle on new energy, including hydrogen, where I see huge potential for the region,” he said.

“Together we have the critical mass to boost the local economy through industry-led energy innovation.

“Our university is committed to this region’s economy – our research is critical for new industries and our students will form the workforce for decades to come.”

Professor Zelinsky said the University of Newcastle taught more than 39,000 students every year

“So, we need to prepare them for the workforce of the future,” he explained.

“This means giving them the opportunity to work before they graduate and to make sure we’re shaping new degrees to what the region needs.

“I’m also particularly excited about the opportunity for us to work with Port of Newcastle on initiatives that provide more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.”

Detailed agreements will be set out for specific projects arising from the collaboration under this MoU.

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