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 was 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 launched on 7 March, 2018 at Pollinators, Geraldton. 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.
WA AustCyber Innovation Hub
Cyber security is an area of strength and competitive advantage for WA. The WA AustCyber Innovation Hub supports and accelerates new and emerging businesses and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to create new jobs and new industries.
Hub Director, Dr Ian Martinus actively seeks opportunities to grow WA’s cyber security industry, focusing on:
Underpinning (critical) infrastructure
Countering cyber crime
Big data (data science/analysis)
WA Data Science Innovation Hub
The WA Data Science Innovation Hub ensures WA remains at the forefront of the digital revolution by increasing the uptake, education, training and awareness of data science.
The Hub provides new and emerging businesses and small to medium enterprises with access to expertise and specialised data science capabilities in universities and trained graduates, upskilling programs, the translation of data science capabilities from the resources sector to emerging sectors, as well as promoting the value of data science across WA.
MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub
The MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub focuses on medical technology, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals to grow WA’s life sciences sector, support local jobs and create opportunities for greater access to international markets.
The Hub’s Director of Biomedical Innovation, Professor Kevin Pfleger, and Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Dr Kate Brooks, focus on growing local opportunities in:
digitally enabled MTP solutions – particularly for rural and remote applications;
the development of medical devices;
precision medicine and regenerative medicine products and services including utilising the State's internationally recognised capability in phenomics;
clinical trials and development of pre-clinical expertise and capability;
skills development in product translation and commercialisation; and
Visit the Hub website at www.mtpconnect.org.au/walifesciencesinnovationhub or contact:
Science Industry PhD Fellowships
As part of the New Industries Fund the new Science Industry PhD Fellowships program supports PhD candidates to collaborate with an industry partner in a high growth area. Under the program, PhD candidates will undertake a PhD research project on a topic agreed to by a company, the candidate and the host university. The nominated company will host the PhD candidate for a period agreed to by the candidate, host institution and company.
The program aims to encourage linkages between researchers and industry, add value to the PhD experience and strengthen collaboration and research impact in economic high growth areas, such as life sciences, cyber security, automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence, new energy industries, and data science.
Applications for the program are now closed with 24 new Science Industry PhD Fellowships established. For more information on the successful recipients visit the Science Industry PhD Fellowship page.