Local businesses, students and university big winners of National Innovation and Science Agenda

Friday 11 December 2015:

Our region is full of entrepreneurs bursting with new ideas and innovative businesses delighting customers both here and overseas with fresh offerings.

It is fantastic these hardworking men and women and their enterprises, as well as local students striving to be their best selves and researchers, are the big winners of the Commonwealth Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, announced earlier this week.

The aim of the agenda is to drive ideas, agility and growth in our communities, which will boost the economy and create jobs.

The agenda will do this through incentives to invest in start-up businesses, preparing students for the jobs of the future, and supporting our universities to progress research with business and industry.

Key measures include:


  • $48m over five years to inspire all Australians, from preschoolers to the broader community, to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics and participate in further study through: extending the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science; supporting Australians in competitions; developing play based learning apps
  • $51m to help students embrace the digital age through online computing challenges; information and communications technology summer schools; support for school teachers to implement the Digital Technologies curriculum; for school leaders to drive digital literacy and partnerships.Businesses


  • A tax offset and capital gains tax exemption for investments in high growth potential start-up businesses
  • A new $18 million Innovation Connections Programme offering matched grants to place undergraduate and graduate researchers in businesses
  • A new $8 million Incubator Support Programme as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme to enable businesses to tap into the expertise and network to take their ideas forward
  • The introduction of new laws that enable companies to access Crowd Source Equity Funding, which I developed in consultation with industry while Small Business Minister.Universities


  • Delivering faster grants for collaborative research projects between universities and business
  • New streamlined research block grant funding arrangements for universities to give equal emphasis to success in industry and end-user engagement and to research quality
  • A CSIRO Innovation Fund to support the commercialisation of research from the CSIRO, other research organisations and universities.

I am excited about the possibilities these and other measures in the agenda have for local businesses, students and the Peninsula Campus of Monash University.

For more detail on these and other initiatives under the agenda, go to: www.innovation.gov.au