RDA Hunter this week hosted Cabinet Secretary The Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO to deliver a keynote address at its Priorities for the Hunter – Have Your Say event at Harbourview Function Centre.

Senator Sinodinos was joined by Head of Trade for the European Union Delegation to Australia, Ivano Casella who provided an EU perspective on economic development, trade and smart specialisation with an EU case study; and Dean of Business at University Technology Sydney (UTS), Prof Roy Green who discussed future industries and comparative advantage.

RDA Hunter staged the event as part of its Smart Specialisation initiative. The Hunter is the first region in Australia to undertake a Smart Specialisation which will prioritise the region’s unique competitive advantages.

Smart Specialisation is an OECD framework implemented widely across the European Union. It establishes an agenda for economic transformation by analysing and defining regional competencies and determining new areas of opportunity.

“To help the Hunter grow and remain internationally competitive it must identify priorities for its future – areas in which it has a competitive advantage and which will deliver economic growth,” said RDA Hunter CEO Todd Williams.

“Our Smart Specialisation initiative aims to identify areas that have potential to employ people – especially in more technically advanced jobs we will see in the future.” continued Mr Williams.

The head of the Economic and Trade section at the EU Delegation in Australia, Ivano Casella, welcomed RDA Hunter’s focus on Smart Specialisation.

“This is yet another worthy example of how organisations in Australia can link and work with the EU which is the world’s largest economy,” Mr Casella said.

“The EU’s Smart Specialisation platform is all about identifying niche areas of competitive strength, solving major societal challenges as well as bringing in a demand-driven dimension, innovation partnerships emphasizing greater co-ordination between different societal stakeholders and aligning resources and strategies between private and public actors of different governance levels.” Mr Casella said.

View the Newcastle Herald story http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3573494/optimistic-and-realistic-eye-to-future/?cs=305

View the NBN Television story http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2015/12/16/business-and-industry-converge-to-discuss-newcastle/