Northern Australia seeking innovation and business links abroad

by Ray Clancy on November 17, 2015

in Jobs in Australia

Australia is currently promoting itself as a country for innovation and investment with new investment visas proving popular, especially with the Chinese.

But it is Northern Australia in particular that is putting itself in the front row in terms of attracting investment, entrepreneurs and business from around the world.

AUSTRALIAcitizensAustralia’s first venture capitalist Bill Ferris has been appointed chair of Innovation Australia which was established by the Government to enhance Australia’s innovation performance.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne, said that the government has committed to making innovation a key element of its economic agenda and to create an environment that provides incentives for businesses at home and abroad to innovate.

“Innovation is critical to economic development. Australia has strengths but also some challenges. That’s why the Government is developing an Innovation and Science Agenda to focus on this key driver of our economy,” he explained.

Ferris, a former chair of Austrade and of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, founded Australia’s first venture capital firm in the 1970s and will take up his new position for three years.

“It is a rare and exciting moment for all involved in science and innovation in Australia; a time to lift national awareness of the importance innovation must play in our future prosperity and the actions necessary for that to be possible,” he said.

Northern Australia is seen as having a key role to play. It covers 40% of Australia’s land mass but is inhabited by just 1.3 million people. It is regarded as being in a prime position to attract innovation due to its proximity and connections with both Asia and the Tropics.

A huge amount of money is being invested in the region to the tune of $1.2 billion. This include a $600 million roads package to improve key roads, $100 million to improve northern cattle supply chains, $200 million to facilitate greater investment in northern water infrastructure, nearly $50 million towards simplifying land tenure arrangements, $15.3 million to position Australia as a leader in tropical health, and over $5 million for analysis of potential northern freight rail projects.

“Having a long term implementation strategy over the next two decades will provide certainty for investors and it’s events like this that help build the links to produce outcomes for years to come,” said Josh Frydenberg, minister for resources, energy and Northern Australia.

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