Queensland calling Core

WITH its first year behind it the Core Innovation Hub is looking to expand beyond its Western Australian home and set up an outpost in Queensland.
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Core Innovation Hub CEO Tamryn Barker

Noel Dyson

That move has been partially driven by industry growth centres METS Ignited and National Energy Resource Australia, two of Core’s key partners. Other key Core partners are Westrac, Unearthed, Spacecubed and Austmine.

Core CEO Tamryn Barker said the Brisbane move was something the hub had been in discussion with all its partners about. 

Barker said Core had also nearly settled on a site.

The response from Core members has been positive too.

“We have several new potential members and several members here who would look at also scaling to Brisbane,” Barker said.

“People are already engaged with wanting to do it and to do it within our model.

“We’ll take the successful elements from here.”

Besides scaling the business to Queensland, Core is also expanding within its existing premises at 191 St Georges Terrace, Perth.

“We’re going up two more levels,” Barker said.

“Our partnership with [property company and owner of 191 St Georges Terrace] Hawaiian allows that.

“Members who want to add and grow can do so.”

That is important because Core is not an incubator. It does not aim to bring in fledgling companies and rely on them to graduate out and move on. Instead it is a co-working space with an aim to help new companies grow.

“Our vision is to be an environmental hub,” Barker said, “to get the sector to build new companies.

“We want them to grow within us.

“We need to also look at opportunities for small to medium-sized enterprises, mid tiers, contractors and suppliers. We need to have an environment that can meet all their needs.

“In 2020 and 2025, how will this model be serving the sector?

“We believe it [the expansion] offers a way of doing that.”

While there are start-ups within Core, there are also divisions from the likes of its partner Westrac.

“They’ve used this space in a different way,” Barker said.

“Basically to build and scale an internal start-up.”

Building skills is the third point of the Core growth trident.

“Our collaborators such as Roy Hill and Woodside are worried about the skills gap, “Barker said.

Unearthed co-founder Zane Prickett said the industry needed to be excited about embracing the change that was coming.

“We need to offer a path from today’s skills to tomorrow’s,” he said.

Barker said the sort of offering Core was looking at was an industry-driven 12-week course that boost participants data skills.

After all the mining sector is finding the skills requirements are shifting and has also learnt that it is easier to train from within than to higher from without.

“It’s getting an understanding of the tools,” Barker said.

“We’re working, in the first instance, with the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and CSIRO.

“We can grow from that and they are comfortable with that.”

Barker said Core was looking to start its data skills courses in the first quarter of 2018.

Prickett said he believed data science should be “like email”.

“Everybody should be using it,” he said.

“Data will become more important to what we’re doing. We’re going to be getting more data points rather than less.”