News & Analysis

NSW Government announces $12 million Boost Program to develop statewide innovation network

- September 16, 2016 2 MIN READ
Boost Program

The NSW Government has announced a $12 million Boost Program to develop a statewide innovation network. The program aims to connect startups to the resources and qualified professionals they need to help build their businesses.

Along with the CSIRO, eleven of the state’s universities have partnered with the NSW Government to facilitate collaboration between startups and industry experts, university resources and technology.

Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business, John Barilaro said the NSW Government is committed to encouraging entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas. This program is yet another government effort to boost business innovation in the cities and regional areas.

“Startups are the future of the NSW economy and these partnerships are designed to help create new business ideas, new industries and jobs of the future,” Barilaro said.

“These partnerships will also help build new incubators and adapt existing facilities so businesses and the local community can network, access information and share ideas in a collaborative environment.”

The Boost Program will provide entrepreneurs and SMEs with access to collaborative work environments, university data, high-tech equipment and networking events. To further encourage creative and innovative thinking, the program will offer tech vouchers provided by the universities to encourage collaboration between businesses, entrepreneurs and tertiary institutions.

The vouchers will provide startups with a financial incentive to work with a chosen university on an elected project to build up different aspects of their business. For example The Boost Innovation hub at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga will specialise in agtech, and in doing so a startup could choose the university to work on a range of projects including solving a technical issue with a product or process.

To be eligible to receive a tech voucher a startup needs to seek a quote from the university and meet the expenditure guidelines, which includes researcher time, equipment usage, consumables etc. The program will offset 50 percent of expenditure of up to $15,000 or $30,000 total project value.

“Small business is the backbone of the NSW economy,” said Barilaro. “The NSW Government is committed to making it easier to start a business, building business confidence, and creating jobs.”

This year the NSW Government has been increasing its funding towards programs offering startups and entrepreneurs support and has university programs tight on its radar. In June the Government announced a $25 million injection into the establishment of a Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, a joint venture between NSW universities and TAFE NSW, to “[place] NSW at the epicentre of entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said, “Entrepreneurship is critical to driving innovation and that is why it’s so important we educate and encourage young people to create new businesses focused on the global market.”

The NSW Government has said that it aims to lead the nation when it comes to job creation and this year has released a range of incentives and programs to establish the growth of small businesses and startups.

In August this year the NSW Government announced its Jobs for the Future, an initiative developed through its Jobs for NSW body with the aim of delivering one million jobs to the state by 2036.

“Our small, fastest growing companies create the most new jobs in NSW; supporting these ambitious and innovative firms is essential to grow resilient jobs for the future,” said NSW Premier Mike Baird.

Image: John Barilaro and startup team. Source: Supplied.