The Australian industry and innovation sectors gained an enormous boost with the announcement by Government that five Industry Growth Centres will be established in five competitive industries at a cost of $188.5 million over four years.
The Government is refocusing its industry policy, with an aim to drive entrepreneurship and innovation within Australia. The Minister for Industry, Ian MacFarlane, will be seeking expressions of interest from business-led consortia to establish five non-profit Industry Growth Centres in the fields of:
- food and agribusiness;
- mining equipment, technology and services;
- oil, gas and energy resources;
- medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; and
- advanced manufacturing.
The Centres will promote organisations working closely together to unlock commercial opportunities and reduce risk. In addition, Centres will encourage businesses in these industries to form commercial research and development partnerships with each other, and with the research sector.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, also announced as part of the Industry Innovation and Competiveness Agenda, three additional items that will assist the Centres in productivity and competitiveness:
- the establishment of the Commonwealth Science Council to focus the Government’s $9.2 billion per year investment in research to gain a better commercial return;
- an improvement to the tax treatment of Employee Share Schemes; and
- a reduction in regulatory red-tape for medical devices that have obtained conformity assessment certification from European notified bodies.