FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda will drive business growth, increase entrepreneurship and forge closer links between research and industry for the New England Electorate.
“This agenda reaches across the economy and into towns, cities and businesses of all sizes to harness our innovation potential and great ideas now to secure our future prosperity and quality of life,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Agenda includes initiatives to foster new start-ups, help businesses to grow, create jobs, and prepare young Australians for the opportunities of the future, wherever they are.”
Mr Joyce said he welcomed the Agenda’s key measures that would benefit businesses and communities in the New England Electorate.
“We have some highly innovative local businesses and entrepreneurs with great ideas who will be able to tap into business incubators to link to the expertise and networks they need to take their ideas forward,” he said.
“Bindaree Beef in Inverell is about to start work on the installation of a state-of-the-art bio-digester which will help to generate energy and cut their production costs as they forge new markets in China and North Asia.
“Another example of innovation is a grant of $490,000 to the University of New England, part of an almost $1 million project to develop a new sheep data management system in partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation.
“We’re making it easier for promising businesses to hire and retain top staff by making existing employee share scheme rules more user friendly.
“It will also be easier for start-ups and businesses to engage with universities and researchers to develop real solutions to industry problems through an expanded Research Connections programme.
“Incentives like tax offsets and capital gains tax exemptions will drive greater venture capital investment in Australia to help these products and ideas reach the global market.”
Universities, including those in regional centres, will be supported to work more closely with industry and businesses, translating science and research into growth through the five Industry Growth Centres and reformed Co-operative Research Centres programme.
Mr Joyce highlighted substantial new investment to boost national science capability and capacity, including $450 million over the next four years in National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facilities, the Australian Synchrotron and the Square Kilometre array.
“This ensures Australia’s world-class researchers have access to the critical large-scale research equipment needed for cutting-edge science,” he said.
Mr Joyce said the Agenda included substantial new investment to develop the scientists, researchers and technologists of tomorrow, including $12 million to encourage greater participation of girls and women in STEM studies and careers.
“I’m pleased to see several new initiatives for our young people to develop the skills they need for the jobs of the future, especially in digital literacy and science, technology and maths,” Mr Joyce said.
“A more innovative Australia will maintain our high standard of living, keep the nation competitive, and create jobs and new opportunities for all Australians.”