The New Industries Fund was a central part of the Plan for Jobs, and is 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.
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.
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.