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Greater support now available to regional innovation hubs

14 December 2017

Regional incubators and accelerators will be able to access greater support under changes to the Australian Government’s Incubator Support initiative that take effect today.

Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Craig Laundy welcomed the changes to the program guidelines, which were announced in the 2017 Budget.

“Incubators and accelerators are a vital part of effective innovation ecosystems, providing hands-on support to Australian start-ups so they have the best chance at global success,” Mr Laundy said.

“We have listened to feedback from the community and have expanded the Incubator Support initiative to make it more accessible for regional applicants.

“We’re boosting the support available to start-up businesses in regional areas and the services and capabilities of incubators and accelerators in these regions.

“This builds on the current initiative that has already awarded over $4.9 million to a number of incubators nationally.

“The changes include a more generous funding ratio and higher maximum grant amounts.

“Regional incubators are now only required to provide half the minimum cash contribution to that of metropolitan incubators,” Mr Laundy said.

Mentoring and support services will also be provided to regional incubators to increase their chances of success.

“Regional Incubator Facilitators will assist in developing projects and support regional start-ups by providing links between business, industry and universities, encouraging regional innovation,” Mr Laundy said.

Potential applicants can assess their regional eligibility using an online tool and the initiative is still available to incubators in major cities to apply.

The changes also include an increase to Expert in Residence matched grants from $25,000 to $100,000.

“The Expert-in-Residence component of the initiative has also been broadened to better allow for two-way exchanges of experts, skills and knowledge between international and Australian incubators, which will in turn assist start-ups to develop their capabilities to successfully commercialise in overseas markets.”

The Incubator Support initiative is part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and contributes to the continued implementation of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Information sessions outlining the changes to the initiative will be held in several regional locations and a national webinar will also be delivered for potential applicants in early 2018.

For more information on how to apply for an Incubator Support grant, go to www.business.gov.au/ep

Media contact: Minister Laundy's office 02 6277 4345