WA Gov announce $100M of funding

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The NIF has been rebooted with four times the funding.

The McGowan Labor Government gave an election commitment to invest $100 million in rebooting the New Industries Fund (NIF), which was a $14.3M 4-year fund, which has since run its course.

Today, the state government formally announced what a few in the local startup scene had already known, $100M in new funding (it was in the budget forward estimates after all), and the creation of the new ‘Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund’ (IANIF).

According to the announcement, the fund will “support industry assistance, attraction and grants across a range of emerging industries, including battery manufacturing, green steel and cyber security.”

It will also build on existing initiatives such as the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, the Future Battery Industry Strategy, and the New Industries Fund.

The IANIF will include $16.7 million over four years to support innovation WA, by “accelerating new and existing SMEs to help diversify the economy and create new jobs.” This will replace the $14.3M New Industries Fund, with slightly more money.

The fund will also provide an additional $4 million over four years for the space industry, with the aim of attracting investment and providing support for space startups and SMEs and will include funding for three staff to support space industry program development and outcome delivery.

So that allocates $20.7M of the $100M.

The 2021-22 State Budget also includes funding to establish the WA Jobs Taskforce, a key commitment in the WA Jobs Plan, that helps identify training and job-creating opportunities in Western Australia, including in manufacturing, new industries and in regional communities.

In announcing the new IANIF and commitment, WA Premier Mark McGowan emphasised the need to diversify and create jobs.

“My Government is delivering on our WA Jobs Plan by investing in local manufacturing and production and emerging industries to create local jobs,” he said.

“Creating jobs has been, and always will be, my number one priority – and my Government has a proven track record of honouring this commitment to the people of WA.

Despite the major economic shock caused by COVID-19, the WA economy has roared back to life, but there is more to do.

This investment will help diversify the State’s economy by supporting new and emerging industries to deliver the WA jobs of the future.

Premier Mark McGowan

While there is more detail to come, and the announcement was short on specifics, the announcement of four times as much money as previously allocated has to be a step in the right direction, and something Startup News applauds.

“The continued funding support for innovation highlights the State Government’s commitment to diversifying our economy and creating more jobs for Western Australians,” said Innovation and ICT Minister Don Punch.

“The McGowan Government will continue to deliver initiatives to build State-wide capability, support and accelerate new and emerging businesses, and encourage innovation to thrive.

“The IANIF focuses on the current and future-ready workforce to optimise WA’s position in the global marketplace and deliver economic and social benefits for the whole community.”

Queensland, Victoria and South Australia all have their own $100M+ funds in this space.

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The New Industries Fund is a sponsor of Startup News.