A strong and growing economy is essential for us to meet the needs of the Canberra community now and into the future. Our economy will grow, and we will create jobs and wealth, by accelerating our innovation sector and building on our strengths in higher education and service exports.
The ACT Government, through our renewed business development strategy, is continuing to put in place practical policies that create the right business environment and use our competitive strengths to accelerate innovation, creating jobs for Canberra.
One of the three strategic priorities outlined in the business development strategy is accelerating innovation. As part of this we are providing additional funding to the CBR Innovation Network to support potential high growth businesses including the establishment of the new business incubator program, the KILN incubator.
KILN is a business program that aims to support budding Canberra entrepreneurs through a range of services including coaching, mentoring, business advisory and office space.
Today marks the opening of the 2015 competitive funding round of the CBR Innovation Development Fund. The Fund has been designed to support a range of initiatives aimed at developing capability and investment across the ACT’s innovation ecosystem.
The Fund will offer $700,000 for initiatives that build the capacity and capability in the innovation ecosystem, demonstrate sustainable economic growth and promote local job development. In the 2016–17 funding round the amount will be increased to $1.45 million.
It is a working example of the Government’s commitment to diversification of Canberra’s economy by creating the right business environment, accelerating innovation to create wealth and jobs and supporting investment in future growth areas.
The higher education and research sector contributes $2.7 billion a year to our economy and creates 16,000 full time equivalent jobs for the Canberra community. This is why the Government has funded a number of innovation programs such as the Innovation Connect grants, which will be delivered in conjunction with ANU and UC’s Discovery Translation Fund.
Canberra’s higher education sector has made a strong commitment to the CBR Innovation Network and recognises that a dynamic innovation ecosystem will assist these institutions to achieve their goal of turning research into commercial outcomes.
We only have to look at successful Canberra companies such as FEI Australia, SmartWard, Enabled Employment and Aspen Medical to see that innovation is vital to strengthening and diversifying the Canberra economy.
My goal is to create more companies like these, which is why the government has decided to back innovation.
This article was originally published by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at www.andrewbarr.com.au.