There was plenty to like for innovation and technology in Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ second budget, the centrepiece of which was a $392 million Industry Growth Program aimed at building a pipeline of Australian businesses that are investment-ready for its flagship $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.
InnovationAus.com had four reporters in the Budget lock-up to cover new initiatives and re-purposed funding, covering everything from quantum technologies to artificial intelligence to this government’s focus on extracting maximum value for the opportunities presented by the global transition to renewable energy.
For a quick review of the big Budget measures, take this quick ten-minute video tour of the major announcements, and the programs that will shape our sector across the forward estimates.
The Industry Growth Program is the major new announcement, part of a joined-up system that connects startups and research commercialisation to the giant $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.
Taking the better parts of the now defunct Entrepreneurs Programme, the Industry Growth Program will provide advice and support to matched grants of $50,000 to $5 million and includes a mechanism that will enable the existing expertise within the Industry Growth Centre program to participate.
The government has also outlined a critical minerals international supply chain engagement program that aims to build a foundation for Australian companies to participate across future industrie, including battery production and the electronics industry.
The Budget included $2 billion for technology upgrades in the public sector, including significant new money for the My Health Record and myGov programs, as well as the establishment of a new National Cybersecurity Office.
The measures also included $101 million to fund programs for critical technologies with a focus on artificial intelligence and quantum technologies, as well as a modest $11 million pilot to establish an in-house consulting capability for the Australian Public Service.
On renewables, the Albanese government has thrown its weight behind hydrogen, with a new – admittedly long-term – $2 billion program of support a new Hydrogen Headstart initiative.
The Defence department has also highlighted an initial $151 million dollars for AUKUS Pillar Two programs, with a focus on quantum tech and artificial intelligence.
You can watch this ten-minute update, or you can read these stories on the InnovationAus.com special Budget coverage.
Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.