On 15 August 2018 the Minister for Innovation and ICT; Science released the new Western Australian Science and Innovation Framework (the Framework). The State Government’s priority areas have been refocused to bring the science and innovation portfolios together under the banner of a new single Framework.
Over $23 million per annum through science grants and $16.7 million over four years through the New Industries Fund is invested by the Science and Innovation Division in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) on behalf of the State Government. This is in addition to the considerable support provided through other areas of Government. To view the Framework and a snapshot of the work JTSI is doing to support the key science and innovation priorities, visit JTSI’s website here.
The New Industries Fund is a central part of the Plan for Jobs. It was announced in November 2017 as a $16.7 million fund over four years that will support and accelerate new and emerging businesses to diversify the Western Australian economy and create new WA jobs and industries.
The fund will support and grow local jobs by building on Western Australia’s competitive advantages in sectors like agribusiness, life sciences, tourism, resources, education and training, space, defence, digital data and cybersecurity, both in Perth and in the regions.
It will support a self-sustaining innovation environment that maximises State and Commonwealth agency collaboration and private sector investment.
Existing, successful Government initiatives such as the WA Innovator of the Year and the Innovation Vouchers Program will continue to receive support through the fund, however all initiatives will be reviewed to ensure a greater focus on creating WA jobs.
The State Government has consulted extensively with a broad range of stakeholders from across the innovation community over the past 18 months. Further consultation is built into the fund as programs are reviewed and new ideas considered.
$4.5 million from the NIF is allocated to regional areas, with the Departments of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation; and Primary Industries and Regional Development working together to identify strategically important industries and areas for investment.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan MLC conducted a Regional Innovation Summit in Bunbury on 23 November, 2017 to kick-start this process.
The Regional New Industries Fund was launched on 7 March, 2018 at Pollinators, Geraldton. The first recipient was announced on 25 July, 2018 as Geraldton-based Pollinators. Read more via the media statement. For more information about the program, click here.
Innovation hubs bring a critical mass of people together, with access to expertise and facilities, making better use of talent and technology, and creating WA jobs.
While innovation will take place across Western Australia, a designated hub provides focus, and acts as a beacon to attract startups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
They also foster community pride as areas of academic excellence and industry strength.
Joondalup Innovation Hub
The State Government launched the Joondalup Innovation Hub, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Joondalup, in November 2017. ECU is a global leader in cyber security expertise and research so the Hub will initially focus on growing the State’s cyber security assets, capability and skills to help protect our digital borders, create jobs and expand economic diversity.
WA AustCyber Node
The WA AustCyber Node, located at the Joondalup Innovation Hub was established through the State Government’s commitment of $800,000, over four years, through the New Industries Fund, and will leverage the expertise and infrastructure available at ECU.
Dr Ian Martinus is the recently appointed Director, WA AustCyber Node, and provides strategic leadership to create opportunities for government, industry and academia to work together to grow the State’s cyber security industry. Dr Martinus actively engages stakeholders to foster state-wide and national collaboration to enhance industry development and job growth within the sector.
The WA AustCyber Node is co-located with the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre at ECU.
The Western Australian Government and ECU are partners, with the Federal Government and industry, in the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). The CRC has leveraged $84.4 million worth of contributions from 25 industry, state government, university and research participants, in addition to $50 million from the Australian Government over seven years and $5.6 million from the McGowan Government over seven years, totalling $140 million.
Minister's Media Release WA AustCyber Node
Minister's Media Release Cyber Security CRC
WA Hub of MTPConnect
The State Government, through the New Industries Fund, committed $1.2 million, over four years, to establish a medical technology, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals innovation hub, WA MTP(Med Tech Pharma)Connect Hub, to grow Western Australia's life sciences sector and support local jobs.
- digitally enabled MTP solutions – particularly rural and remote applications;
- the development of medical devices;
- precision medicine and regenerative medicine products and services including utilising the State's internationally recognised capability in phenomics;
- clinical trials and development of pre-clinical expertise and capability;
- skills development in product translation and commercialisation; and
- investment attraction
Data Science Innovation Hub
The State Government has committed $800,000 over four years, through the New Industries Fund, to establish the WA Data Science Innovation Hub. Curtin University, the lead university partner, is also providing $800,000 over four years, towards the hub, which operates across Curtin’s Perth and Bentley sites.
Dr Liz Dallimore is the recently appointed Director, WA Data Science Innovation Hub.
The Hub will provide access to specialised data science capabilities in universities and trained graduates, upskilling programs for industry, the translation of data science capabilities from the resources sector to emerging sectors, and promote the value of data science in WA.
Science Industry PhD Fellowships
As part of the New Industries Fund the new Science Industry PhD Fellowships program supports PhD candidates to collaborate with an industry partner in a high growth area. Under the program, PhD candidates will undertake a PhD research project on a topic agreed to by a company, the candidate and the host university. The nominated company will host the PhD candidate for a period agreed to by the candidate, host institution and company.
The program aims to encourage linkages between researchers and industry, add value to the PhD experience and strengthen collaboration and research impact in economic high growth areas, such as life sciences, cyber security, automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence, new energy industries, and data science.
Winners of Round One were announced in January 2019 with Round Two now open and closing on 30 April, 2019. For more information visit the Science Industry PhD Fellowship page.