On 15 August 2018 the Minister for Innovation and ICT; Science released the new Western Australian Science and Innovation Framework (the Framework). The State Government’s priority areas have been refocused to bring the science and innovation portfolios together under the banner of a new single Framework.
Over $23 million per annum through science grants and $16.7 million over four years through the New Industries Fund is invested by the Science and Innovation Division in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) on behalf of the State Government. This is in addition to the considerable support provided through other areas of Government. To view the Framework and a snapshot of the work JTSI is doing to support the key science and innovation priorities, visit JTSI’s website here.
The New Industries Fund is a central part of the Plan for Jobs. It was announced in November 2017 as a $16.7 million fund over four years that will support and accelerate new and emerging businesses to diversify the Western Australian economy and create new WA jobs and industries.
The fund will 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.
It will support a self-sustaining innovation environment that maximises State and Commonwealth agency collaboration and private sector investment.
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.
The State Government has consulted extensively with a broad range of stakeholders from across the innovation community over the past 18 months. Further consultation is built into the fund as programs are reviewed and new ideas considered.
$4.5 million from the NIF is allocated to regional areas, with the Departments of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation; and Primary Industries and Regional Development working together to identify strategically important industries and areas for investment.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan MLC conducted a Regional Innovation Summit in Bunbury on 23 November, 2017 to kick-start this process.
The Regional New Industries Fund was launched on 7 March, 2018 at Pollinators, Geraldton. The first recipient was announced on 25 July, 2018 as Geraldton-based Pollinators. Read more via the media statement. For more information about the program, click here.
Innovation hubs bring a critical mass of people together, with access to expertise and facilities, making better use of talent and technology, and creating WA jobs.
While innovation will take place across Western Australia, a designated hub provides focus, and acts as a beacon to attract startups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
They also foster community pride as areas of academic excellence and industry strength.
Joondalup Innovation Hub
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 recognised global leader in cyber security research and principal partner in the $50 million Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, will house the Innovation Hub at its Joondalup campus.
In March 2018 the State Government committed $800,000 in funding through the New Industries Fund to support the operations and staffing of the Western Australian Node of the federally-funded, industry-led AustCyber organisations. The Node will be established at the Joondalup Innovation Hub and will focus on critical infrastructure, cybercrime and big data. Read more via the media statement.
WA Hub of MTPConnect
On 3 July 2018 the State Government announced support of $1.2 million to establish a medical technology, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals innovation hub to grow Western Australia's life sciences sector and support local jobs.
This hub is in partnership with MTPConnect and The University of Western Australia. Read more via the media statement.
Data Science Hub
On 13 August, 2018 the State Government announced $800,000 over four years to support the establishment of the WA Data Science Innovation Hub. The innovation hub will provide practical training and develop skills for WA jobs in data science.
Curtin University, the lead university partner, is also providing $800,000 towards the hub over four years. The innovation hub runs across Curtin’s Perth and Bentley sites. Read more via the media statement.