Integrated Innovation Network (I2N)
Your innovation journey starts here
Entrepreneurship means different things to different people. Some imagine tech startups, others see a small business growing at full-speed. Whatever it means to you, the University’s Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) can help you succeed.
The I2N aims to drive strong economic growth through supporting entrepreneurs and new businesses to make valuable connections, develop their ideas and thrive. It is an initiative of the University of Newcastle and supported by the NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Program.
What we offer
We believe you should be inspired by where you work. A great workspace is more than just a desk and computer. It should spark new ideas, encourage collaboration and networking, and elevate your start-up or business to the next level. We have two premium co-working spaces available across the Hunter region for globally-minded, innovative, and diverse startups on a mission to drive positive change through tech. And with our flexible packages, you can decide what works best for you. Host meetings and workshops, brainstorm ideas, network with other entrepreneurs and see results.
I2N Hub Hunter Street
376 Hunter St, Newcastle
Located in the heart of Newcastle, I2N Hub Hunter Street is an ideal space to create, test, develop and produce, your services and product to meet market expectations. Over two levels, the Hub accommodates flexible co-working spaces and collaborative meeting zones with the technological and to support startups in the Newcastle region. Membership is open to anyone working on the development of a high-growth potential business.
I2N Hub Williamtown
Building E, 1 Technology Place, Williamtown
A purpose-built co-working space at the Williamtown Aerospace Centre, I2N Hub Williamtown concentrates on research technology applications in the commercial defence, security and aerospace sectors. This is an ideal workspace for businesses focused on cybersecurity, control systems, autonomous vehicles, simulation modelling or propulsion and energy storage and is perfectly positioned to engage with nearby defence industries.
Research and education facilities
UON Upper Hunter
87 Hill Street, Muswellbrook, NSW 2333
In partnership with Muswellbrook Shire Council, the University has established a research and education facility that focuses on the delivery of regionally relevant research and engagement activities to help shape the future of the Upper Hunter region. UON Upper Hunter provides a flexible workspace for postgraduate students to develop applied research skills and enhance employment opportunities across a wide range of industries. The facility also enables the expansion of critical research to generate ongoing social and economic benefits for the region. Additionally, a flexible events space is host to a series of regular business development workshops, seminars and networking events to support regional SMEs.
The I2N offers events, meet-ups, talks and workshops designed to support and advance innovation and entrepreneurship across the Hunter region. Learn how to turn a big idea into a successful business, hear from experienced founders, acquire new strategies for scale-up success and make valuable connections along the way. We also partner with Slingshot and CSIRO for the delivery of accelerator programs that take place in Newcastle.
Innovation & entrepreneurship partnerships
Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. We know innovation happens when research, business, government and community forge strong alliances. That’s why, in addition to our national and international research partnerships with esteemed institutions, we’ve partnered with a number professional organisations and groups.
UON is a member of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centres (GCEC) which comprises more than 225 university-based entrepreneurship centres across the world that connect academic and business communities to advance excellence in the innovation field. In 2016, UON was recognised for its entrepreneurship and innovation leadership by being inducted into the prestigious Leadership Circle of the GCEC. As part of the Leadership Circle, UON joins an elite group of 31 universities worldwide who provide guidance to the GCEC and represent the best in entrepreneurship education.
The University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) is passionate about advancing university-industry interaction, entrepreneurial universities and collaborative innovation. As members of the UIIN, UON academics, researchers and professionals can tap into this network and thereby help drive UON’s commitment to innovation. UIIN boasts 250+ members from more than 25 countries including technology transfer offices, researchers in various fields, business professionals, and policymakers.
The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) is a not-for profit organisation whose members are all New South Wales (NSW) based universities, including UON, in addition to TAFE NSW. Established in 2016 the SSE teaches radical entrepreneurial skills to top students from a range of disciplines as part of their degree. SSE seeks out bright, energetic, creative and committed students – up to 1,000 each year - from across Sydney as well as regional and rural areas. The SSE is Sydney in name, but NSW in operation and presents a large portfolio of co-curricular activities across all its member partners.
A commitment by UON, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the University of Wollongong (UOW), the NUW Alliance aims to explore the challenges impacting NSW to generate benefits for the State as well as the Australian economy. With a geographical reach to 25% of Australia’s population, this collaboration is the first grouping of its kind in Australia and is modelled on similar regionally-based research alliances in the United Kingdom and USA.
The Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) is a partnership between UON, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT. HIP includes the installation of smart technology and Wi-Fi throughout Newcastle's CBD and the establishment of an innovation hub. HIP is supported by a $9.8 million commitment from the NSW Government through the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIIF) with HIP partners contributing a further $8 million. UON has responsibility for the delivery of the Innovation Hub, a dedicated facility in the Newcastle CBD which will bring together researchers, students, developers, entrepreneurs, investors, technical specialists and business advisors. By linking with and showcasing UON's existing innovation and entrepreneurship programs, the Innovation Hub will form part of the UON's I2N, and will facilitate the launch of spinoffs, start-ups and mature companies; attract investment and businesses to the Hunter Region; encourage innovation and commercialisation; and produce the next generation of entrepreneurs, business leaders and inventors.
CSIRO power the ON program, Australia’s national science and technology accelerator, designed specifically for research teams. The program consists of two parts. The first is an entry level, part-time 8-week pre-accelerator program called ON Prime that helps research teams validate a fit between their research ideas and a real-world problem. The second is a 2-month full-time accelerator program called Accelerate which helps researchers validate and develop high potential innovative ventures. UON facilitates the promotion and delivery of the ON programs for its researchers.
UON was an early sponsor and supporter of the first Slingshot cohort and an inaugural corporate partner in Slingshot’s CoVentured platform. The organisations have also collaborated on the University’s STAR4000 program which provides students with entrepreneurial skills and pathways for innovation and future self-employment. More recently, UON has partnered Slingshot to deliver the I2N Icon Regional Accelerator. Icon is a cohesive, industry-agnostic 10-week program with investment embedded within it to allow companies to scale and go global. It’s tailored to the specific needs of the Hunter Region and open to anyone involved in an early-stage startup. The program is delivered annually at I2N Hub Hunter Street and NeW Space.