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Credit: Government of Western Australia (from www.newindustries.wa.gov.au/new-industries-fund)

Credit: Government of Western Australia (from www.newindustries.wa.gov.au/new-industries-fund)

Western Australia launches regional component of New Industries Fund

The Government of Western Australia (WA) has launched the A$4.5 million regional component of the New Industries Fund to drive innovation, diversification and job creation across regional Western Australia. Up to $300,000 will be allocated to each of the nine regions for initiatives that build a regional innovation pipeline and drive job creation at a local level.

The Departments of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and Primary Industries and Regional Development are working together to identify strategically important industries and areas for investment.

The funding will target small-medium enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, organisations providing innovation support in the regions and transforming existing businesses to seize new industry opportunities.

A further A$1.4 million will be invested in inter-regional projects that drive collaboration between innovators across the State to promote economic diversification and job growth.

Projects that could be considered under the inter-regional stream include technology development initiatives to support regional growth and development programs, and commercialisation support for regional start-ups and SMEs.

Each region will establish a Regional Innovation Partnership to collaboratively identify strategic projects that have the greatest potential to grow regional communities.

Submissions will be considered by an independent assessment panel who will make recommendations to the State Government on the allocation of funding. Organisations and businesses can register to join a Regional Innovation Partnership at http://www.newindustries.wa.gov.au.

Roadshow briefings, to explain how the fund works, will be held in each region over the next two months.

Regional Development Minister, Alannah MacTiernan said, “Innovation is critical to building the capability and economic sustainability of our regional communities. This funding will support our regions to develop their unique competitive advantages, focusing on developing new businesses and industries as well as helping existing businesses transform to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

“Regional communities have some of the most innovative people in the world. As the world economy is disrupted by new technologies, it is important that regional Western Australia remains at the cutting edge,” added Innovation and ICT Minister, Dave Kelly.

The New Industries Fund is a A$16.7 million fund over four years to support and grow local jobs by building on Western Australia’s competitive advantages in sectors like agribusiness, life sciences, tourism, resources, education and training, space, defence, digital data and cybersecurity, both in Perth and in the regions. Existing, successful Government initiatives such as the WA Innovator of the Year and the Innovation Vouchers Program will continue to receive support through the fund, however all initiatives will be reviewed to ensure a greater focus on creating WA jobs. 

As part of the fund, government support for development of the Joondalup Innovation Hub was announced on 28 November 2017. The Joondalup Innovation Hub will initially focus on cyber security. Edith Cowan University, a principal partner in the A$50 million Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, will house the Innovation Hub at its Joondalup campus.  

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