The Western Australian innovation sector will be boosted by a $20 million package designed to strengthen WA’s position as an innovation leader, following Premier and Science Minister, Colin Barnett’s recent 2016-17 State Budget announcement.
Mr Barnett said the innovation package would build on a number of Government initiatives already occurring in Commerce, Finance and Science to establish WA as a centre for innovation, creativity and digital technology. With a focus on strengthening local startups and innovative SME sectors, Mr Barnett expects the innovation package will broaden the economy, create jobs and stimulate investment.
“More and more of our jobs and export growth is coming from innovation in resources, science, agriculture, tourism, education and health services. From mining to farming, WA has led the way in so many fields – now we need to transition that leadership into the digital age and across the global stage,” Mr Barnett said.
Mr Barnett believed WA’s trade links could be leveraged to establish the state as an international innovation centre saying, “We will look to Asia, with an early focus on Singapore, using our trade, business and education linkages to help open a regional gateway for investment in WA.”
Plans to develop WA’s Innovation Strategy are already underway, with the newly appointed Innovation Minister, Bill Marmion holding an Innovation Summit in July. Mr Marmion said, “The summit will bring together leaders from WA’s business, startup, community and public sectors to build our innovation strategy to foster new enterprises, concept commercialisation and job creation.”
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