The Liberal-Nationals government’s new Innovation and Science Agenda will deliver exciting opportunities for regional Victoria, Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie said.
“The Agenda’s range of new initiatives include assistance for local business to innovate and grow, support for entrepreneurs to back their ideas and get access to the capital they need, and closer connections between industry and research particularly in agriculture,” she said.
“Australians have no shortage of smart ideas with great discoveries and inventions like wifi, the Cochlear implant and penicillin. The Agenda will ensure Australians have the support and encouragement to turn their brilliant ideas into great businesses rather than losing them offshore.
“Universities for starters, including those in regional centres, will be supported to work more closely with industry and businesses, translating science and research into commercial opportunities such as in food production that ultimately drives growth and productivity and creates jobs.
“I also welcome the $26 million towards the development of silicon quantum computing technology in Australia, based at the University of NSW. Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems in minutes that would take conventional computers centuries. This would have a transformational impact on industry and business including in our regions.
“We have some highly innovative local businesses and entrepreneurs with great ideas in our regions, who’ll also be able to tap into business incubators to link to the expertise and networks they need to take their ideas forward.
“And incentives like tax offsets and capital gains tax exemptions will drive greater venture capital investment in Australia to help these products and ideas reach the global market.”
Senator McKenzie welcomed a substantial investment to boost digital literacy and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) amongst young Australians including $13 million to encourage greater participation of girls and women in STEM studies and careers.
“I’m pleased to see several new initiatives for our young people to develop the skills they need for the jobs of the future, especially in digital literacy and science, technology and maths,” she said.
“There’ll also be a substantial new investment to boost national science capability and capacity, ensuring our world-class researchers have access to the critical large-scale research equipment needed for cutting-edge science.
“The initiatives announced today build on existing measures such as the Entrepreneurs’ Program, Industry Growth Centres Initiative and the Rural R&D system.
“These are exciting times for agriculture, industry and small business in our regions who already lead the way in innovation. Backed with the government’s support, the opportunities and benefits will be endless.”
More information on the Innovation and Science Agenda is available at www.innovation.gov.au