G2B: Chief Minister’s Message

CBR Innovation Network to grow and create jobs

B2B Editor1 May 2014

CBR Innovation Network to grow and create jobs

Last month I announced the establishment of the CBR Innovation Network to grow, innovate and create jobs.

Innovative start-ups and companies with the potential for rapid growth will benefit from this initiative with industry stakeholders helping shape the services provided for entrepreneurs and innovation focused companies.

This new approach is the result of a workshop held by the Economic Development Directorate in February with over 30 of the key stakeholders. The workshop recommended the establishment of an innovation network that would connect potential high growth businesses to a range of services, activities and mentors that would assist them to grow and create wealth.

To implement this vision the CBR Innovation Network will be established with the following features

* The network will deliver services, programs and support to a wide cross section of growth oriented companies and entrepreneurs;

* The network will have a physical location and will also have a charter of outreach that establishes multiple delivery points or partner delivery arrangements;

* It will be managed by the stakeholders under a governance structure shaped and agreed by the stakeholders. Potential stakeholders include the ANU, CSIRO, NICTA and the University of Canberra and other partners who want to join the network. The ACT Government will also have representation on the management body for the network;

* The network will be structured so that smaller players are able to have a role in the direction of the network;

* The ACT Government will contract the network to provide a range of services to potential high growth businesses, including mentoring, access to capital, skills development, managerial skills and links to international supply chains amongst many;

* The network will provide a ‘triage model’ for all entities that contact it, but with services that engage quite deliberately and effectively with potential high growth businesses; and

* The services of the network will be made available to all potential high growth companies, not just companies spun out of research institutions or ICT companies.

It’s important to emphasise that we will continue our commitment to assisting all general start-up and early-stage businesses in the ACT. The existing Canberra BusinessPoint service including the existing web site will be transferred to the network

The CBR Innovation Network, expected to commence operations in late 2014, will complement the ACT Government’s earlier announcement to establish a Digital Hub, centred on Garema Place.

This new network has been welcomed by key stakeholders, including Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Innovation and Advancement), who noted that “A vibrant and well connected Canberra Innovation Eco-system is essential to research institutions such as the ANU in enabling the commercial translation of world leading research, ” Professor Cardew-Hall said.

Dr Phil Robertson, Chief Operating Officer of NICTA sees the networks as key to catalysing engagement across the innovation community. “NICTA has a strong commitment to supporting innovation in the ACT, particularly where ICT is having a transformative impact on business and enabling new, high-growth opportunities,” Dr Robertson said.

Professor Frances Shannon, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Canberra also welcomed the Network, “The University of Canberra has a strong commitment to innovation and is supportive of a collaborative approach that will be facilitated through the CBR Innovation Network.”

The CBR Innovation Network gives effect to the third strategic imperative of the Business Development Strategy to accelerate innovation in the ACT. I look forward to working with the business community to making the network a reality.

Andrew Barr
Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

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