Bridge Hub, an agrifood tech innovation hub launched in Wagga Wagga by Blue River Group, has received a $500,000 grant from the government’s Incubator Support Initiative.
Launched last month, Bridge Hub is working to test and commercialise new ideas in the agrifood sector, bringing together industry, researchers, and government to develop startups to benefit producers and consumers. Along with its Wagga Wagga headquarters, it also has bases in Sydney and Israel.
Ethy Levy, cofounder and Israel CEO of Bridge Hub, said, “The grant funding will allow Bridge Hub to dedicate additional resources to accelerate its work with both agrifood tech startups in Australia and the building of deeper connections with world leading agrifood tech nations such as Israel.”
Bridge Hub offers a range of services, from industry problem statement development to tailored startup support, investment opportunities, and access to a network of trial farms and food manufacturing facilities for proof of concept, market testing, and validation services.
The hub will also provide select startups with up to $100,000 in equity funding.
Along with the grant, it is supported by foundation sponsors including Charles Sturt University, AgriFutures Australia, King & Wood Mallesons, and KPMG.
Bridge Hub was one of three organisations to receive funding through the Incubator Support Initiative this week.
Spacecubed Ventures was awarded $247,000 to fund the running of two programs to serve up to 160 startups and entrepreneurs across Perth, Port Hedland, Geraldton, and Bunbury.
Meanwhile, Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Health Institute have received $120,000 to develop an incubator program for 10 startups working across the health, wellbeing, and medtech space.
The government also this week announced $10 million in funding to drive innovation in the automotive sector, part of its $100 Advanced Manufacturing Fund.
$7 million will support the Automotive Innovation Lab Access Grants program, through which businesses can receive up to $200,000 in matched funding for eligible projects, such as design, prototype, and testing activities at established commercial and research facilities and Automotive Innovation Labs.
A further $3 million will go to industry body Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association over the next two years to fund the building of an Automotive Innovation Lab in South Australia, and the enhancement of a facility in Victoria.
Image: Riverina MP Michael McCormack and Bridge Hub’s Dianna Somerville. Source: Supplied.