Ballarat’s new home for digital innovation and entrepreneurship has officially opened in a win for digital specialists, innovators, technology designers, researchers and students.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford opened Ballarat’s dedicated digital startup space at Federation University’s Flecknoe Building – funded with $4.3 million from the Andrews Labor Government.
The new space will be known as Runway Ballarat – The Workshop and will house digital specialists, technology designers, researchers and students in one central location.
Designed as a hub for collaboration, innovation and invention, Runway Ballarat will foster entrepreneurship, digital service and product development and support the commercialisation of Victoria’s brightest ideas.
Runway’s state of the art Fabrication Laboratory will provide entrepreneurs with the ability to manufacture almost anything, allowing them to bring to life and prototype their ideas and startup concepts.
The opening event also welcomed the first cohort of the Ballarat Runway Accelerator Program. Runway’s accelerator program nurtures regional start-ups and entrepreneurs and has already guided 47 people through its Geelong program.
The Labor Government has invested in the project to help grow the region’s ICT enabled industries, attract new investment and generate regional jobs.
Ballarat is already home to over 100 ICT businesses and the sector employs more than 1,500 people, generating $163 million for the regional economy.
With over 2,000 participants expected to take advantage of Runway Ballarat – The Workshop over the next four years, the facility is set to capitalise on Ballarat’s strength as a centre for ICT and digital innovation.
The Labor Government is investing in one of Ballarat’s most important enabling industries, and a sector that will help the Victorian economy diversify and remain competitive in the future.
As noted by Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Runway Ballarat presents a huge opportunity to build on Ballarat’s ICT and digital strengths and will help turn these skills into new industries, new jobs and grow our digital economy.”
“Innovation is a key to the future of our economy and regional Victorians have shown us time and time again their strengths in thinking outside the box. Ballarat is a natural home for this innovation lab.”
As noted by Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Phillip Dalidakis
“We are excited to partner with Federation University and Runway to deliver this project, which cements Ballarat as Australia’s leading regional centre for digital industries.”
As noted by Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
“We’re investing in projects that help grow innovative jobs and create new technologies and we’re proud to support Victoria’s growing digital tech sector by investing in the right spaces to accelerate their growth.”