Industry minister Karen Andrews has called on for more lenders to build programs that give greater support to Australian technology companies, after the NAB unveiled a plan to invest $2 billion over five years to help local innovators.
“Access to finance is a big challenge for the tech sector, so I welcome NAB’s decision to commit to lending to emerging technology companies and I hope other lenders will be inspired to follow suit,” she said.
“We know tech companies are at their most fragile when they’re looking to scale up their capabilities, enter new markets or add new services, so greater access to capital will see more small and medium-sized businesses grow and create jobs.”
As part of the $2 billion funding, NAB will provide Australian tech companies with loans, facilitate access to capital markets, and support these firms with transactional banking and risk management.
The funding support comes off the back of the CSIRO Australian National Outlook (ANO) report that was released earlier this week. NAB chairman Ken Henry had co-chaired the ANO report with CSIRO chair David Thodey.
The report highlighted how industry and researchers could work together, and an industry shift towards investing in growth sectors, including technology, is necessary to spur a resilient future economy.
“This significant commitment shows what can come when industry engages with researchers. The CSIRO ANO report has presented opportunities for growth and industry is now in a position to take action and invest,” Ms Andrews said.
“It shows how industry can engage with our researchers to identify challenges and then come back with their own solutions to adapt and succeed into the future.
“As Minister, I’m committed to connecting our small and medium-sized enterprises with our researchers, so they too can take advantage of their insights.
“We need to keep demonstrating how investing in research and development is central to ongoing success, which will grow the economy and create new jobs.”