At a media event in Bunbury today, Minister for Innovation Stephen Dawson MLC announced the creation of a new ‘innovation hub’, to help develop WA’s creative tech industries.
Through the state government’s $16.7M New Industries Fund, the hub will receive an investment of $1.2 million over four years to establish the first Creative Tech Innovation Hub in Bunbury, plus matching funds and in-kind support from local government and industry partners.
The hub is a collaboration between the State Government, Edith Cowan University, the City of Bunbury and other industry partners and has the aim of supporting Western Australia’s emerging creative and immersive technology industry.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Regional Futures) & Vice-President at Edith Cowan University, Prof Cobie Rudd, has been the main driving force behind the hub, and her next job will be to now appoint a Director.
Once set up and running, expected in a couple of months, the hub will have a statewide remit, and will look to coordinate and support all the various pockets of creative digital industries including game development, experiential and immersive technology, software development, product design, advertising, digital film and media content.
While the South-West is home to over 320 creative and digital businesses, the WACTIH will help support hundreds more businesses across the State with specialised advice and services.
The new hub will join the State’s three other established Perth-based innovation hubs in life sciences, data science and cyber security.
“We’ll now be looking for a new Director for the hub, who will then appoint a small team, so we can be operational in a few months’ time,” said Professor Rudd. “Obviously, we’ll start small and will go from there. But we’ve had so much interest from local business, from mining, health, research and elsewhere. Everyone’s excited here.”
Former Minister for Innovation and local member for Bunbury Don Punch MLA was also delighted with the announcement.
“I’m thrilled that the McGowan Government has committed $1.2 million to establish Western Australia’s first Creative Technology Innovation Hub in Bunbury.
“Bunbury is the gateway to our State’s pristine South-West region and is now proudly home to hundreds of digital and creative businesses and innovators.
“I look forward to the establishment of the WA Creative Technology Innovation Hub and the significant opportunities and benefits it will offer to the Bunbury community.”