Regional incubators will be given additional assistance to apply for the Incubator Support initiative to improve their commercial prospects.
Four new regional specialists will be appointed to assist regional incubators through the application process.
The four Regional Innovation Facilitators will provide advice, help people develop professional networks in Australia and overseas, and forge local links with business, industry, universities, research institutions and government.
This support builds on the Government’s commitment to expand support for regional incubators at the election where $15 million was provided to expand the Incubator Support Programme to ensure more innovative businesses, particularly in regional and rural areas, are able to access the resources and networks needed to grow.
Regional incubators and start-up hubs often struggle to find funding, gain in-kind support from local businesses and councils, or understand how to develop a business case to successfully apply for government support.
A key initiative from the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the $23 million Incubator Support programme enables new and existing incubators and accelerators to access up to $500,000 in matched funding to improve the commercial prospects of startup businesses and develop Australia’s innovation system.
The Regional Incubator Facilitators will be available across Central and Mid-North New South Wales and Southern Queensland regions, Northern Queensland, South-West Victoria and South-East South Australia, and Regional Western Australia.
However, regardless of location, all regional applicants will have access to a Regional Incubator Facilitator.
Since its launch, the Incubator Support Programme has awarded almost $6.3 million to 15 new and existing incubators across Australia since September 2016.
An additional $800,000 has been invested in expert secondments into 30 Australian incubators.
Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash said the increased focus on regional applicants reflected the importance the Government placed on regional development and growth.
“The Government is investing in science and innovation to ensure we grow new businesses and create jobs all over Australia.
“The additional support and advice these expert facilitators provide to incubators and start-up hubs will help to foster successful start-ups in our regions,” Minister Cash said.
Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy, said the Government will ensure regional businesses have the best chance to develop their innovative ideas and get them into local and global markets.
“We’ve refined the Incubator Support initiative to better support regional start-ups so they can succeed, bring economic benefits to their local areas and create jobs,” Minister Laundy said.
Source: Australian Government