“WELCOME to our great experiment.”
So said IT specialist Liam O’Duibhir at Friday’s official opening of the Bega Valley’s entry into the burgeoning world of information technology co-working spaces.
CoWS Near the Coast is a tech hub for the region’s innovators and entrepreneurs (BDN, 24/1), which is planning a year’s worth of activities to get the project off the ground and in the public eye.
Chief coordinator of the co-working space (CoWS) Mr O’Duibhir welcomed a group of around 30 people to Friday’s opening, including Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Mayor Bill Taylor, Rachel Jones from South Coast Workplace Learning and Far South Coast director of public schools Paul Morris.
He introduced CoWS Near the Coast as a hub with a capacity for 14 people at any given time, where those working in the information and communication technology sector can “meet, collaborate, network and start exciting new businesses”.
“We may not have the NBN, a university or a high population density,” Mr O’Duibhir said.
“But what we do have is talent of all ages and a saleable proposition to attract entrepreneurs to the coast.”
Mr O’Duibhir said the long-term goal for CoWS Near the Coast is to have 300 tech sector jobs in the Bega Valley by 2030.
Mr Constance said that goal is eminently achievable.
“This project will be a success, no ifs, no buts,” Mr Constance said with his “Finance Minister’s hat on”.
“From where I sit I see partnerships between government and enterprises like this absolutely vital.
“Money should be going directly into the IT sector – that’s where the skills are, development is and outcomes realised.
“I can’t think of a better place for an initiative like this to start than in the main street of Bega.”
Cr Taylor also congratulated the people behind the tech hub, even if he cheekily admitted to having his grandchildren help him with anything computer-related.
“The building we’re in must be around 100 years old – imagine what the people who built it would say if they saw what you are doing here and your vision of this shire into the future,” Cr Taylor said.
* For more information visit www.cowsnearthecoast.com.au