Labor will create a Regional Innovation Fund, which will kickstart a range of initiatives to expand the role of Australia’s regions in contribution to the national innovation effort.
It will, for example, invest in an expansion of the network of hubs and accelerators across the country, focussing on regional and rural sites. Labor will also support the continuation and expansion of existing university-based hubs and accelerators in metropolitan and outer-metropolitan universities.
Our approach will be flexible, underpinned by consultations with stakeholders in rural and regional Australia to ensure investment reinforces local economic strengths and priorities.
And in recognition of the success and demonstrated potential of existing university-based hubs and accelerators in metropolitan areas, additional funding will also be available on a competitive basis for these universities to ramp up their programs.
University-based accelerators will be at the centre of this initiative; however we will remain open to other avenues to boost regional innovation activity.
For example, funded entrepreneurship hubs could be based at a regional university campus or, in some cases, a local TAFE or private consortium that has attracted demonstrated regional support across business and state/local government bodies.
A Shorten Labor Government would fund the establishment of up to 20 new accelerators over three years, based on applications from consortia that must include, at a minimum:
- a regional university or TAFE
- local government(s); and
- a local business organisation (such as a Chamber of Commerce) or a group of local businesses.
Each consortium would receive seed funding of up to $500,000 per year for three years, which must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with funding from the consortium or other sources.
Further information is available here.