Govt invites feedback on $8m startup incubator initiative


news The Federal Government has called for comment on a new $8m initiative aimed to boost Australia’s next generation of startups.

On 10 March, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne and Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy encouraged ecosystem stakeholders – such as business incubators and accelerators – to have their say on the government’s planned Incubator Support Programme.

The initiative will be launched in mid-2016 as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“Incubators are a vital part of any effective innovation ecosystem, helping high potential start-ups realise their economic potential and global ambitions,” Pyne said. “They provide start-ups with vital mentoring support and access to additional capital and networks to help them develop and commercialise their ideas.

The Incubator Support Programme, he suggested, will “strengthen and broaden” Australia’s network of incubators, and drive new economic activity and regional jobs.

Roy said, while there were already more than 30 “successful” incubators and accelerators in Australia, Incubator Support will help establish new incubators in regions or industry sectors with “high innovation potential”, as well as expanding the services offered by existing incubators.

“A new experts-in-residence component will see researchers and technical experts seconded to incubators, providing advice and expertise to start-ups,” he said.

The government is seeking feedback from state and territory governments, as well as existing incubators and accelerators and universities, to incorporate lessons learned from existing business support programmes into the new initiative’s guidelines.

“It’s important to ensure we’re supporting the right mix of activities and infrastructure to benefit start-ups and complement activities undertaken by other jurisdictions,” Pyne said.

The $8 million Incubator Support Programme will offer matched funding to:

  • Support development of new incubators and accelerators in regions or sectors with high innovation potential
  • Boost the effectiveness of high-performing incubators
  • Provide access to high-quality research and technical know-how via the secondment of expert advisors.

The initiative will also coordinate and promote support for entrepreneurs and startups through the Australian Innovation Network, which provides information on startup support opportunities, activities and events.

Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting


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