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Victoria Launches New Innovation Plan

A new agenda to keep Victoria at the forefront of innovation, drive the creation of new industries and support jobs for future generations has been unveiled by the Government. The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy recently launched the Innovation Statement detailing the plans and investments to propel the state forward.

The ambitious plan builds on existing commitments with a new blueprint to turbocharge Victoria’s startup ecosystem, grow business and innovation precincts, develop homegrown talent, and commercialise world-leading research – keeping Victoria at the cutting edge.

Front and centre of the agenda is the landmark AU$ 2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund, which will bridge the gap between discovery and commercialisation, mobilise innovation in key areas such as health and life sciences, agri-food, advanced manufacturing, clean economy and digital technologies.

Health and medical research is another focus with investments totalling $590 million committed in the past year alone, including up to $400 million for a new Australian Institute of Infectious Disease to lead the fight against future pandemics, and an additional $50 million to spearhead local manufacturing of mRNA vaccines.

The Victoria Government is fostering the big ideas of entrepreneurs and supporting home-grown start-ups to scale up while also building a robust investor landscape to help more Victorian innovators take their ideas global.

The state’s start-up agency, LaunchVic, is leading the way with programs such as the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund helping female founders access early-stage funding, and the $60.5 million Victorian Startup Capital Fund injecting more money into local start-ups.

The Government’s significant investment is building Victoria’s innovation capabilities, increasing competitiveness and attracting national and international investors. Priority initiatives like the $64 million Digital Jobs program are addressing the digital skills shortage by training mid-career Victorians for in-demand digital roles, while the $550 million Connecting Victoria program is helping businesses take advantage of digital opportunities with reliable, better value broadband across the state.

The Innovation Statement showcases Victoria’s impressive history of class-leading innovations and modern inventions making their mark around the world and celebrates and elevates stories from across the Victorian innovation community.

The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy stated that Victoria is ahead of the curve and there’s no slowing down, which is why the nation must support its innovation ecosystem and continue to make game-changing advancements in science, health and medicine, and technology. The new innovation agenda is a commitment to ensure the next generation of Victorians have all they need for the jobs of tomorrow, she added.

Digital technology and innovation drive economic growth, productivity and competitiveness. The Victorian Government is committed to positioning Victoria as the number one destination for digital technology companies and start-ups in the Asia-Pacific.

The results of the latest survey of Victoria’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry indicate continued growth and a positive outlook with:

  • 19,941 businesses
  • 139,100 employees
  • annual revenue of $38.4 billion (including $2.4 billion in international revenue).

More broadly, it has been estimated that in 2020, Victoria’s digital economy could be worth $50.8 billion.

Victorian Government support

The Victorian Government is creating a supportive local environment where innovation can thrive with programs, initiatives and events being rolled out across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The AU$ 45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program is addressing digital infrastructure, enhanced broadband, mobile blackspots and digital agriculture, and the $18 million Regional Rail Connectivity Project is improving connectivity on five major regional rail lines.

The Victorian Government has established LaunchVic, an independent agency responsible for leading the development of a globally-connected startup ecosystem by supporting startups and investors to sustainably grow and deliver economic and cultural benefits for both Victoria and Australia.

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