Objective 4.1

Innovation in exports and the shift to digital is supported and promoted

Action 4.1A

In progress

The Government will support accelerators, incubators and other cluster development initiatives for services, including in regional centres.

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Government response
Related Action/s

Government supports accelerators, incubators and other cluster development initiatives for services sectors, including in regional centres.


Progress to date

The $23 million Incubator Support Initiative has improved the prospects of innovative Australian start-ups by developing their market capabilities and connecting them with quality research, managerial and technical talent. The Government committed a further $5 million to the Initiative in 2019 to support first-generation migrants and refugees to establish a start-up and achieve commercial success in international markets. Applications under the Incubator Support First-generation Migrant and Refugee expansion opened on 4 February 2020.

Supporting clustering initiatives, our Mining Equipment, Technologies and Services Growth Centre – METS Ignited – has held over 40 events since 2019 covering a range of topics including digital analytics, automation and robotics, treating tailings and mine affected waters and the development of SME Export Hubs, with over 1000 attendees in total. 

METS Ignited in conjunction with the Queensland State Government and Western Australia State Government held two major accelerators during 2020/21 as well as a series of 10 smaller regional accelerators. Over 2020/21, METS Ignited accelerators involved 71 sessions and webinars which have been augmented by 19 masterclass events with over 100 participants.

METS Ignited expanded the Queensland-based Scale Up and Take Off accelerator program into a national accelerator program known as the Quantum TX Business Accelerator program. The accelerator program is for start-ups seeking to facilitate the use of scale-up solutions in mining, energy and defence sectors by applying them to the space and advanced manufacturing sectors.

METS Ignited supports ‘MackHack’ in Mackay, Queensland. The annual hackathon invites participants to showcase technologies, concept development and prototype solutions to industry challenges presented by local mining houses and mining equipment, technology and services firms.

In June 2020, Australian Cyber Security Growth Centre's (AustCyber) NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node partnered with TAFE NSW to launch short courses to meet current and emerging industry needs. The courses will provide new and existing workers with the specialist skills they need to succeed in the growing cyber security sector.

The Node is part of AustCyber’s National Network of Cyber Security Innovation Nodes, designed to foster and accelerate cyber capability development and innovation across the country. It is jointly funded by AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, and the NSW Government. As of January 2021 there are Nodes in Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Canberra and New South Wales, each specialising in key priority capabilities related to State or Territory strengths.

The Australian Government announced a $2.2 billion investment over 11 years to translate more high quality university research into new products and services, new businesses and start-ups, and more jobs through the University Research Commercialisation Action Plan. The University Research Commercialisation Action Plan will create stronger links between business and industry and focus effort in the six National Manufacturing Priority areas to drive commercial returns, these include resources technology and critical minerals processing, food and beverage, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence, and space.

A key reform is the establishment of Australia’s Economic Accelerator, a $1.6 billion program to support translation and commercialisation in National Manufacturing Priority areas. The program aims to bridge the gap between research outcomes and commercialisation, moving research breakthroughs down the innovation pipeline to create jobs and lift productivity. This will be supported by a $150 million expansion will also be made to the CSIRO Main Sequence Ventures to provide for equity investments in high-value early-stage opportunities. Further information is available at www.dese.gov.au/university-research-commercialisation-package.

The South Australian Department of Innovation and Skills has developed a range of accelerators, incubators and other cluster development initiatives to support services industries based in South Australia. These initiatives are support a range of service sectors and export activities and include:

  • CivTech Alliance – a worldwide network of public, private and third sector organisations working across civic and gov tech sectors, supporting and nurturing an ecosystem developing products and services with a focus on technologies that contribute to Net Zero.
  • Startup Hub at Lot Fourteen – a hub for startups in emerging industry across South Australia. focusing on space, hi-tech, cyber and creative industries.
  • Tonsley Innovation District – innovation district reimagining and redeveloping traditional manufacturing facilities focusing on Cleantech, Digital Health and Medical Devices, Future Energy, Defence and Industry 4.0 including Line Zero.
  • PIRSA Regions AgTech start-up hubs that support entrepreneurs to develop entrepreneurship and technology capabilities to solve critical industry challenges.
  • Go2Gov program supports early-stage businesses to pitch their innovative product or service to state government agencies.
  • Accelerator and Incubator Programs – a broad range of accelerator and incubator programs active in South Australia, with many accessible to services exporters.
  • Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (A3C) at Lot Fourteen - an organisation that is committed making cyberspace a better, and safer, place for organisations, corporations, agencies and institutions to do business, which also has capability building functions and a cyber marketplace.
  • The Circle – a first nations entrepreneurship hub located at Lot Fourteen.
  • The Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) – supports researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to accelerate their progress with funding from the South Australian Government.

The Government of Western Australia has supported a number of Innovation Hubs to support Western Australian business through the $16.7 million New Industries Fund. Innovation hubs bring a critical mass of people together, with access to expertise and facilities, making better use of talent and technology, and creating local jobs. While innovation takes place across Western Australia, a designated hub provides focus, and acts as a beacon to attract startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Innovation hubs include: WA AustCyber Innovation Hub, WA Data Science Innovation Hub and the MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub. Further information can be found at: New Industries Fund: Innovation hubs (www.wa.gov.au).

CBRIN, alongside other ACT Government co-funded business incubators and accelerators, like the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) and the Canberra Cyber-Hub, look to build on Canberra’s unrivalled collaboration between Government, universities and the business community across different sectors.