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History

In the years 1999 – 2000, the Coffs Harbour Technology Park idea was conceived by Coffs Harbour Technology Park Ltd Board of Directors of the Coffs Harbour Education Campus. The idea generators included strategic managers from the Coffs Harbour Education Campus, Southern Cross University and North Coast TAFE.

The Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre was built in 2001 – 2002 supported by funding from the Department of Workplace Relations & Small Business. Other contributors were the Department of State & Regional Development, Coffs Harbour City Council, Southern Cross University and North Coast TAFE.

Over the 12 years, 33 businesses have been tenants of the Centre.  Average tenancy is three years. Currently seven entrepreneurial businesses in the technology, sustainability and social enterprise space operate from the Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre. 

There have been 26 graduates of the Centre with most moving on as their business expands or if they are moving to another location. Notable successes include: 

Jetty Research which commenced business at the Centre and provided training and employment opportunities to University and TAFE students. Jetty Research has been recognised as one of the leaders in research specialising in the needs of local governments.

Youth Directions is a locally-grown organisation with a mission to create opportunities for young people to realise their potential.  Since its inception, Youth Directions has grown in size and scope in response to local needs and to changing government policy to improve the engagement and educational attainment of young people. The importance of a collective community responsibility for the learning and development of young people underpins Youth Directions’ ongoing programs and initiatives.

These enterprises and many others which have been a part of the Innovation Centre have provided employment opportunities and a basis for economic, creative and innovative growth in the Coffs Coast.