Regional incubators in Fairfax will be given additional assistance to apply for the Incubator Support initiative to improve their commercial prospects.
A new regional specialist will be appointed to assist local incubators through the application process.
The Regional Innovation Facilitator will provide advice, help people develop professional networks in Australia and overseas, and forge local links with business, industry, universities, research institutions and government.
The Regional Incubator Facilitator for Fairfax is Mark Phillips, who will work across Northern Queensland, including the Sunshine Coast.
This support builds on the Government’s commitment to expand support for regional incubators at the election where $15 million was provided to expand the Incubator Support Programme to ensure more innovative businesses, particularly in regional and rural areas, are able to access the resources and networks needed to grow.
Regional incubators and start-up hubs often struggle to find funding, gain in-kind support from local businesses and councils, or understand how to develop a business case to successfully apply for government support.
A key initiative from the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the $23 million Incubator Support programme enables new and existing incubators and accelerators to access up to $500,000 in matched funding to improve the commercial prospects of start-up businesses and develop Australia’s innovation system.
Since its launch, the Incubator Support Programme has awarded almost $6.3 million to 15 new and existing incubators across Australia since September 2016.
An additional $800,000 has been invested in expert secondments into 30 Australian incubators.
Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash said the increased focus on regional applicants reflected the importance the Government placed on regional development and growth.
“The Turnbull Government is investing in science and innovation to ensure we grow new businesses and create jobs all over Australia.
Ted O’Brien MP, Member for Fairfax, said the Government was serious about ensuring businesses in Fairfax have the best chance to develop their innovative ideas and get them into local and global markets, bringing economic benefits to our local area and creating jobs.
“I’m confident the additional support and advice these expert facilitators provide to incubators and start-up hubs will help to foster successful start-ups on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr O’Brien said.
For more information, including how to apply for an Incubator Support initiative grant, go to www.business.gov.au/assistance/entrepreneurs-programme