Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly yesterday afternoon hosted an Innovation Consortium to seek input from key players in the State’s innovation sector on how the State Government can utilise Western Australia’s innovation hubs to create more jobs and new industries in WA.
A key initiative in the McGowan Government’s Plan for Jobs was the creation of innovation hubs. Three innovation hubs have been established since March 2017, including the Western Australian Data Science Innovation Hub, the Joondalup Innovation Hub focused on cyber security and the MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Hub.
The Innovation Consortium discussed the hubs’ ongoing commitment to support emerging businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and commercialise innovations, upskill and foster innovation as well as hone in on new opportunities and investment.
The WA Government is committed to ongoing consultation of industry leaders, innovators and other stakeholders to optimise its investment in the hubs, identify new partnerships and expand service delivery to achieve its goals of job creation and economic growth.
At the Innovation Consortium, Mr Kelly announced a second round of the X-TEND WA program would open in October. This program is funded through the McGowan Government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund and provides grants of up to $100,000 to organisations that deliver entrepreneurial programs focused on increasing inclusion and diversity in the innovation sector.
As stated by Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly:
“The McGowan Government is committed to working with universities, business, industry and the community to drive the development of innovation hubs to create new industries and local job opportunities.
“The Innovation Consortium was an opportunity for our Government to strengthen working relationships with the sector to discuss how we can drive innovation, build capability and scale up Government innovation initiatives to maximise job growth.
“One of the key messages from the Consortium was that we need to be telling the world about all the clever things that are happening here in WA. I look forward to working with the sector to build that narrative and sell Western Australia as an innovation State.
“The second round of the McGowan Government’s X-TEND WA program will promote entrepreneurship by investing in organisations that harness diversity and access, such as support for female founders or investors, while creating WA jobs.”