The Liberal Nationals Government has backed a new project to connect AgTech start-ups with their global markets, run by the University of New England’s SMART Region Incubator (SRI).
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, announced a grant of $320,000 through the Incubator Support initiative to the Armidale-based university for its project, SRI AgTech Gateway: Global Focus for Australian AgTech start-ups.
The UNE SRI AgTech Gateway Project will bring together start-ups and agricultural producers with the goal of launching new AgTech solutions into the global marketplace.
“Agriculture lies at heart of nearly everything we do here in the New England North West, so it’s only fitting that a world-class, local tertiary institution like UNE takes the lead on making these start-ups a reality for Australian entrepreneurs,” Mr Joyce said.
“The two-year funding project will help connect the AgTech start-ups with the global market, while drawing jobs and economic benefits back to Armidale and the New England North West region.
“I congratulate Dr Conway from the UNE on the funding grant and helping to advance agricultural development in the New England North West, across Australia and beyond.”
UNE SMART Region Incubator Director Dr Lou Conway said of the program’s 43 regional start-ups operating in Armidale and Tamworth, 19 local jobs have been created as a result.
“This funding will support AgTech start-ups to be investment-ready, providing expert advice how to scale and grow their start-ups and really nurturing talent in regional areas,” Dr Conway said.
The $23 million Incubator Support program enables new and existing incubators and accelerators to access up to $500,000 in matched funding to improve the commercial prospects of start-up businesses and develop Australia’s innovation system.
Since its launch, the Incubator Support Programme has awarded over $11.6 million to 29 new and existing incubators across Australia.
For more information, including how to apply for an Incubator Support initiative grant, click here.