by Kate O’Mara

Pivoting is something we’ve all heard lots about in the last three years – pivoting for sustainable growth, to enter new markets, and the big one … to shore-up sovereign capability.

To pivot is smart in the wake of the multi-industry shortages Australia experienced during the pandemic, and one small company in the Hunter region of NSW has done just that. Here’s their story …

Creative Pipeline (CP) has cleverly leveraged new introductions, made possible by the region’s Health & Medtech Cluster, to pivot into one of the Hunter’s most promising growth sectors – Health – and in doing so has created new products and set itself up for the future.

Creative Pipeline commenced as a one-man operation in 2006 specialising in 3D animation and video production primarily for the resource sector. Tim Black, that one man, went on to develop his video production, 3D animation and industrial design know-how into a unique offering that simplifies technical, complex information into world class visual resources. Today the team at Creative Pipeline specialises in virtual reality, 3D animation, augmented reality and 360 video production.

With clients like Orica, Bradken, BHP and AustMine, Tim and his small team solve big problems for companies who need better ways to train their people. They have a mining mindset and were doing well, but knew they needed to consider diversifying their client base to secure the company’s future. Seeking out and accessing opportunities were pressing challenges.

Enter HMIC!

HMIC is the Hunter Central Coast’s Health & Medtech Industry Cluster. It was formed by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter in 2020 to support economic development by growing the region’s health & medtech sector.

HMIC comprises a broad range of the Hunter’s medtech and allied health companies, national industry associations, Health and manufacturing specialists, and education & research organisations. It has grown into an informal community that meets regularly to better understand the region’s capability, exchange knowledge and network.

An early HMIC supporter was Creative Pipeline’s Business Development Director, Karl Putnis. Karl has a keen eye for business opportunities and an appreciation for good networking. His active participation in HMIC and its community-building activities helped him start conversations that have led, in a relatively short time, to a whole new world of prospects for CP.

“There’s no question that HMIC accelerated our transition into health,” Karl said.

“The Cluster’s networking activities have been invaluable in helping us understand who’s who in the health sector and facilitating access to high-level decision makers, national peak bodies and likeminded local companies. Our participation in HMIC has led to new work and growth of our small team. We’ve had to employ new people to deliver the work we’ve picked up,” Karl said.

Tim reiterated, “HMIC has 100% helped us find our place and feel comfortable in the region’s health industry community – and it’s helped us commercially.

“We’ve been able to listen, learn and test the market at HMIC events and site visits and, as a result, we’ve clarified our health offering and developed new marketing collateral. We’ve also begun to think differently about the application of our technology – to the point where we’ve developed a new health-specific VR product that we’re in the midst of rolling out. It’s very exciting.”

“We’re now extremely well positioned to take on health – it’s a really exciting time for our business and we wouldn’t be here without HMIC,” Tim said.

After spending a decade working in professional video production, 3D animation and industrial design, Managing Director, Tim Black brought these three complimentary disciplines together by founding Creative Pipeline. The Creative Pipeline team is applying the same high quality production philosophy and experience to VR/AR, with exciting results.
The CP team approach project development from an Industrial Design perspective. This approach, from a different mindset, aides in the rapid understanding of complex and technical detail and environments and differs to traditional VR/AR, video and 3D animation production philosophies.

HMIC is the Hunter Central Coast’s Health & Medtech Industry Cluster. Established and managed by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter, HMIC is industry-led and working to identify and address industry and Health challenges locally. It represents and coordinates the Hunter Central Coast’s diverse, sophisticated and growing health & medtech cluster of companies and organisations, and acts as a catalyst to achieving real, commercial outcomes and economic growth.
HMIC comprises a broad range of the Hunter’s medtech and allied health companies, national industry associations, Health and manufacturing specialists, and education & research organisations.
HMIC is building awareness of the Hunter Central Coast as a strong contributor to medtech competitive capability in NSW and nationally; facilitating growth of medtech and advanced manufacturing through collaboration across industry, government, research and education; and improving access to global supply chains; and boosting participation in national and international markets.