Bunbury is WA’s fourth New Industries innovation hub

Brandon How

The Western Australian government has launched its fourth innovation hub, this one focused on creative technology which includes gaming, experiential and immersive technology, software, product design, advertising, film and media.

The WA Creative Technology Innovation Hub has been given $1.2 million over four years through the state’ $16.7 million New Industries Fund (NIF).

Based at Edith Cowan University South West’s campus in Bunbury, the hub is to be collaboratively operated as a collaboration between the university, the City of Bunbury, the state government, and industry. It is the first New Industries Fund supported innovation hub in a regional area.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Edith Cowan University deputy vice-chancellor Professor Cobie Rudd, and Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson. Image: Edith Cowan University

“The hub is set to drive economic value in the regions through business and skills transformation for increased, long-term advantage,” Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson said.

“New Industries Fund supports and accelerates WA’s innovative startups, emerging businesses and small and medium enterprises to diversify local and regional economies and create jobs and industries. Through the new hub, the McGowan Government aims to expand the State’s presence in the global digital supply chain of services, content and code.”

Minister Dawson’s office said the hub would focus on linking research, entrepreneurship, and education.

Bunbury MP and former Innovation minister Don Punch said the city is a gateway to the state’s South-West region, and “home to hundreds of digital and creative businesses and innovators”. A state government spokesperson said there are more than 320 creative and digital businesses in the region supporting around 4,000 local jobs.

This is also the third innovation hub to receive $1.2 million over four years through the fund, following a funding announcement for the WA Data Science Hub and WA AustCyber Innovation Hub at the end of last year. The MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub is also supported by the NIF, but receives $600,000 annually.

The cybersecurity hub is run by AustCyber and Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, the Data Science Hub is a partnership with Curtin University, while the medical hub is based at the University of Western Australia.

The first NIF was initially established as a $16.7 million fund in 2017 and ran over four years. It was renewed in the 2021 budget with an additional $16.7 million.

The state government also committed $220,000 to fund the Albany Innovation Project, which includes the establishment of the iHub innovation centre. These funds were a part of the state’s Regional New Industries Fund.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to include comments from a state government spokesperson.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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