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NSW Government releases Regional Innovation Strategy

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The NSW Government has released a Regional Innovation Strategy to support businesses, jobs and investment across the state.

The Strategy has been developed by the NSW Government with input from Industry & Investment NSW, the Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, and the Department of Education and Training.

The NSW Government will establish Innovation Initiatives for each of the State’s regions focusing on areas where local innovation can make a difference. These innovation blueprints will be customised to the unique characteristics of each region and integrated into Regional Business Growth Plans.

Innovation Initiatives will be rolled out to all regions during 2010 and will be updated regularly to reflect the changing priorities and needs of each region. The NSW Government will work with Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees and local stakeholders to implement the Innovation Initiatives.

The Strategy includes a set of recommendations for immediate implementation. These include expanding access to management training programs; innovation coaching including in lean business techniques; greater knowledge sharing through business networks; expert innovation workshops; tapping into the knowledge generated by our research institutions; and using the capacity of broadband to enhance regional business innovation.

The Strategy is available at www.business.nsw.gov.au/innovation

Australian innovators now have access to an extra $40 million in venture capital funding with the establishment of new fund manager OneVentures, which has been awarded a license under the Australian Government’s Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program.

The IIF program provides fund managers with $20 million which they must match with private sector capital to establish new funds to invest in promising early-stage Australian companies commercialising Australian research.

OneVentures, headquartered in Sydney, will invest in emerging Australian companies in the cleantech, new media / information technology and life sciences sectors.

The OneVentures fund will also be structured as an Early-Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP).

An ESVCLP receives flow-through tax treatment – that is, it is not a taxing point and investors receive a full tax exemption on their share of the fund’s income and capital.

Fund managers are urged to submit applications under the latest round (Tranche 3 of Round 3) of the IIF program, which closes on 31 May 2010.

For more information on the IIF and ESVCLP programs and other AusIndustry assistance measures, visit the website at www.ausindustry.gov.au