Newcastle has it all: Check out the Makers Festival!

Newcastle, centre of the Hunter Region and NSW’s second city, has a whole new face as a manufacturing and technology region following the closure of the BHP steel mill in 1998.

A region with 150 years of engineering history, it has the following characteristics:

  • Manufacturing is undergoing significant transformation by becoming higher tech, nimble, investing in R&D and being globally engaged;
  • 256 companies are engaged in supplying to the mining equipment, technology and services sector;
  • Manufacturing and technology is being stimulated by significant Defence spending in aerospace (Boeing Defence, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin have significant footprints);
  • The uptake in STEM subjects by students is in the HSC in the Hunter is the highest in NSW;
  • We still have trade families and the completion rate for apprentices in our industry is 20 % – greater than the NSW average;
  • Newcastle is the Skills Point (Centre for curriculum development in NSW) for Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and Science;
  • The University of Newcastle is ranked number 7 in the world in research in automation controls;
  • The University of Newcastle is second in Australia (after CSIRO) in research organisations in industry based research under the Federal Government ‘Research Connections Program’;
  • An emerging engineering-tech start-up community;
  • A great lifestyle; and
  • Plenty of industrial lands, easy to get around and local councils which encourage industry.

The Hunter, Central Coast and Mid North Coast are worth a look in seeking your suppliers or your next move.

Come along and experience what makes the Greater Hunter manufacturing region tick at the Ai Group Greater Hunter Makers and Technology Festival on Friday 21st September and Saturday 22nd September 2018. Business Visitors are welcome on either day but Friday 21st in particular will cater for you. For a Business Visitor Invitation, progressive list of exhibitors and to register as a Business Visitor please visit

Exhibitors will comprise innovative manufacturing and technology companies, researchers, start-ups and students from the University of Newcastle, TAFE NSW and STEM high schools. Admission is Free.

This year we are also joined by the Hunter Electric Vehicle Show displaying and demonstrating commercial and experimental electric cars, bicycles and full size racing bikes.

Generously supported by Ai Group, the NSW Government, AGL, Port of Newcastle, City of Newcastle, Varley Group, Kings Engineering, Molycop, The Herald, Newcastle Airport and the Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival.

Enquiries: Adrian Price, Regional Manager Ai Group mob 0418 640 447 email

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Adrian Price, Regional Manager, Hunter, Central Coast and Northern NSW, has been working for Ai Group in HR, training and business networking roles since 1995. He was appointed to his current position in July 2010. In conjunction with the Ai Group Hunter Industry Leaders Council, he is setting about implementing a number of recommendations to assure the longevity of manufacturing in the Region.

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