The engine driving Illawarra’s growth – meet i3net (Illawarra Innovative Industry Network) and ICN NSW

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Imagine a powerful engine driving the growth of the Illawarra region – that’s the relationship between i3net (Illawarra Innovative Industry Network) and ICN NSW. 

i3net has been the catalyst for connecting local companies across various industrial sectors, promoting their collective capabilities. By partnering with ICN NSW, it has gained even more traction, linking members to exciting projects and supply chain opportunities. This collaboration has sparked innovation and is creating new avenues for growth. Through regular networking events and industry showcases, i3net and ICN NSW are working together to help local businesses connect and thrive, propelling the regional economy to new heights.

Creating connections over two decades

i3net, the Illawarra Industry Network, was founded just over 20 years ago to establish a network of local companies across a wide range of industrial sectors. i3net promotes the strengths and capabilities of its members, including both businesses and individuals, to ensure successful growth locally, nationally and internationally. 

Members can attend networking events that showcase work opportunities, attract local businesses and operators, and allow new connections to be made and maintained.

Strategic collaboration to fuel growth

ICN NSW and i3net’s collaboration is a natural response to the Illawarra being a growth region, with many projects either underway or in the early stages of development. ICN NSW promotes current and future work packages for the projects, allowing i3net’s network members to learn about potential opportunities to localise supply chains.

“Working closely with i3net has enabled our ICN NSW suppliers and project owners to find new opportunities in the Illawarra region. We’ve also been able to introduce i3net to some of the major players in the industry and expand its network. It has been a mutually beneficial collaboration that, at its core, has highlighted the amazing capability of local businesses,” said Beti Krsteski, ICN NSW’s Illawarra Regional Manager.

ICN NSW and i3net have partnered to hold successful monthly Industry Breakfast events that connect project leads with businesses and individuals and spark insightful discussions around industry news.

“This is a perfect example of the power of partnership. Sharing a common goal of driving Illawarra industry growth, providing more supply chain matching opportunities and increasing local content by leveraging the efforts of ICN NSW and i3net joint network and capabilities.  These past two joint events were a perfect example of our joint goal being realised. And we look forward to more opportunities to work together in the future”, said Bianca Perry, i3net’s CEO.

Networking opportunities drive industry connections

i3net hosts regular networking events including training development sessions, industry showcases, and Industry Breakfasts as part of the collaboration with ICN NSW where attendees hear from and network with in-demand industry speakers.

The April 2024 breakfast attracted 130 guests who heard from SRG Global representatives on the Jervis Bay/Princes Highway project, and Fulton Hogan representatives on the Mount Ousley interchange project. In May 2024, more than 150 attendees listened to a Future Generation JV spokesperson discuss the Snowy Hydro project and the ongoing HumeLink East Acciona Genus JV project and HumeLink West projects.

Beti noted that her invitation to the event extended to Michael Mimoso, the Business Development Manager at Brindle Freight Services, resulted in a fruitful connection with Acciona the project proponent for the HumeLink East Acciona Genus JV project.

Following the event, Michael successfully engaged with Acciona and has since been invited to participate in the tendering stage for potential collaboration on the HumeLink East Acciona Genus JV project.

One local Managing Director described the breakfasts as “most informative on the major infrastructure projects that are currently being executed”, while another highlighted the breakfasts as a “great opportunity to make new connections”. 

The impressive attendance and positive feedback from guests are a testament to the benefits networking opportunities and partnerships bring.

i3net events are also regularly attended by “Captains of Industry” which is what makes i3net’s networking events such lucrative business development opportunities. Recent speakers at i3net events outside of the Industry Breakfasts include spokespeople from BlueScope, Blue Float Energy, Lockheed Martin, EnergyAustralia, NSW Ports, and more.

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