Sunday, March 02, 2008

Geelong as a Smart City

from w
A hundred years ago Geelong was noted for being a wool port,with several woollen mills and ships coming and going, then in the middle of the 20th century as an industrial city making cars, then Alcoa started. But these days the biggest employers are the bureaucracy and civil service such as City Council, the hospitals, the schools and in the past 40 years as a university city with Deakin. The latest promotion is that Geelong is a Smart City with a future in the IT industry. I read this article in the Geelong Advertiser a few days ago.

Future is IT for Geelong
Martin Watters 22Feb08

Chamber of Commerce will push the city as an information technology and biotechnology hub.

THE day when Geelong is famous for producing knowledge before heavy manufacturing is not impossible, the Geelong Chamber of Commerce will announce today. The chamber revealed its three-year strategic plan to further push the city as an information technology and biotechnology hub ahead of its official launch this afternoon.

The business chamber also revealed its strategies to address the skills shortage and support small business, which it said made up an overwhelming 95 per cent of all Geelong businesses while employing nearly half the city's workforce.

The chamber's previous five-year strategy would expire this year.
The chamber's priorities included:
PROMOTING Geelong as a major knowledge, innovation and research-intensive region;
MAINTAINING skills levels;
ATTRACTING new business to Geelong; and
SUPPORTING collaborations such as Deakin University's work with Biocon, India.
Geelong Chamber of Commerce executive director Lawrie Miller yesterday explained the plan for 2008-2010 was to support beliefs the city could become the Australian ``Silicon Valley'' in partnership with Deakin University and biotech firms such as Waurn Ponds' Chemgenex.

Mr Miller said among the scores of priorities for the chamber, the skills shortage was a priority as was supporting existing small business and courting further investment to the region. `What we're trying to do is see Geelong become a smart region with better education and what a lot of other organisations are doing is trying to improve the situation and push it home,' he said. `But we still believe there should be other opportunities and we recognise the value of small business.'
Mr Miller said the chamber had a dual role to `push Geelong as a smart region' and still provide value for existing members. Minister for Community Services and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville will launch the chamber's strategic plan this afternoon at the Gordon Gallery.



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