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Canberra to receive federal funding for women in STEM and entrepreneurship programme

Women in STEM

The Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt MP announced today that he has awarded a Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Grant of $240,000. This programme will be led out of the CBR Innovation Network who is one of twenty-four grant recipients nationwide.

The funding will go towards creating an out of school 10-week programme for girls in Canberra and the surrounding region. The programme will be run four times over a two-year period and is designed to develop STEM and entrepreneurial skills that enable career pathways for women to enter into these fields.

Erica Hediger, The Creative Element

The programme aims to increase confidence and interest for girls at an age that will enable them to make real choices in their Year 11 and 12 subjects. The activities in this project include skills workshops, career presentations, field trips, connections with female STEM mentors, role models and speakers.

Dr Sarah Pearson CEO, CBR Innovation Network said ‘young women make up only 16% of those studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and only 16% of entrepreneurs are female in Australia. This is a shocking inefficiency as time and again it is shown that women are at least as successful and in many cases more successful than their male counterparts in these areas.’

Women are underrepresented in STEM related studies and professions, this programme will assist in addressing the gap in developing skills, confidence and knowledge of STEM and Entrepreneurship pathways for young women in the Canberra area.

‘This programme will help young women see that they can change the world, grow our economy, solve our biggest challenges and build companies; at a time when they make their study choices which can either enable them to grow through rewarding careers, or lock them out of the high growth jobs of the future’ said Dr Sarah Pearson CEO, CBR Innovation Network.

Women in STEM

Ambassador Berry - Group Shot
CBR Innovation Network excited to host the US Ambassador to Australia, John Berry, and to showcase Canberra’s innovation ecosystem.

John Berry, American Ambassador to Australia, visited the CBR Innovation Network on Friday, the 12th of August, 2016, and explored the myriad of innovation and entrepreneurship arising from the space. Ambassador Berry also visited the Griffin Accelerator and the Entry 29 co-working space, both of which are collocated with the CBR Innovation Network, on the fifth of the ACT Government Health Building, One Moore Street, Canberra.

Ambassador John Berry engages SignOnSite, a successful, Canberra based startup

Ambassador Berry engages SignOnSite, a successful, Canberra based startup.

CBR Innovation Network acts to connect, promote and accelerate the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems of the Australian Capital Territory and surrounds. The CBR Innovation Network achieves its goals of supporting and nurturing Canberra’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems through a number of initiatives, including its incubator, the Kiln Incubator.

The CBR Innovation Network has the following Foundation Member organisations: the Australian National University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Data61, the University of Canberra, the Canberra Institute of Technology and the University of New South Wales Canberra. The CBR Innovation Network is also supported by the ACT Government, and it has Gold Sponsorships arrangements with King & Wood Mallesons and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Ambassador Berry met a wide variety of members of Canberra’s innovation ecosystem, including the following: entrepreneurs and innovators, including this previous participants of the Griffin Accelerator program; the start-ups and SME’s utilising the Entry 29 co-working space; established entrepreneurs and investors and representatives of both the ACT Government and the CBR Innovation Network’s Foundation Members.

 CBR innovation Network, CEO, Dr Sarah Pearson speaks with Harry Frost of WIN News Canberra.

Dr Sarah Pearson, CEO, CBR Innovation Network, speaks with Harry Frost of WIN News Canberra.

Mr Berry spoke highly of both the CBR Innovation Network and Canberra’s innovation ecosystem, “We were involved in the creation of the CBR Innovation Network, now some twenty months ago. I then visited the Network eighteen months ago, it’s fantastic to see how far both the Network and Canberra’s innovation ecosystem have advanced in the time since my last visit.”

Ambassador Berry

US Australian Ambassador, John Berry.

Dr Sarah Pearson, CEO, CBR Innovation Network, commented on Ambassador Berry’s visit, “CBR Innovation Network is delighted to host Ambassador Berry. The US is a crucial partner, market and enabler for Canberra’s innovation ecosystem, its entrepreneurs and its innovators.” Dr Pearson also spoke of the value the CBR Innovation Network places on its collaborations with the United States’ Australian Embassy, in particular, a recent collaboration, Canberra Space Camp.

Canberra Space Camp is an event that encourages Canberra’s high school students in space sciences, the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and introduces them to Canberra’s burgeoning space industry. The inaugural Canberra Space Camp event is being held on September 30, 2016, run by the Canberra YMCA, the event will be centred around the theme of ‘A Mission to Mars’.

Ambassador Berry’s visit to the CBR Innovation Network was covered by WIN News Canberra.

canberra - air 2
Canberra companies named in AFR’s list of Australia’s 50 Most Innovative

Canberra, long the cradle of the public service sector, is increasingly emerging as one of Australia’s premier innovation hubs. Canberra is ideally placed to be at the forefront of Australian innovation and entrepreneurship, through its high concentration of tertiary education and research institutions, combined with its extensive Federal and Territory Government infrastructure and its capable populace.

The change in Canberra’s image, standing and orientation as a traditionally government services orientated city and the emergence of its burgeoning innovation ecosystem have been evidenced recently with the following grants, awards and recognitions:

– The Australian Financial Review last week released its list of Australia’s 50 most innovative companies for 2016, with Canberra based companies Thinkplace and Seeing Machines both making the list, placing 19 and 27 respectively. The parent company of My Health Test, another Canberra based company, also made the list, placing 16.

InterfereX, a company based in the Entry 29 co-working space, which is collocated with the CBR Innovation Network, recently received an Accelerating Commercialisation grant from the Federal Government worth $675,000.

Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) and Seeing Machines, both Canberra based companies, have recently been awarded funding by the Co-Operative Research Centres (CRC) Programme, which is administered by AusIndustry. MCi have been awarded a total grant amount of $2,402,390 and a total project value of $8,277,401, as part of a group of three companies and the The University of Newcastle, Australia. Seeing Machines were awarded a total grant amount of $2,250,000 and a total project value of $6,515,000, as part of a group of three, also including Monash University and Ron Finemore Transport Services.

Now increasingly more so a quickly growing innovation hub than a government services orientated city, Canberra and its innovation ecosystem are becoming hotbeds of entrepreneurial and innovative activity. In less than a month, Canberra has played host to the following: a visit by the American Ambassador to Australia, Ambassador John Berry, to the CBR Innovation Network; upwards of 200 people attending the CBR Innovation Network’s First Wednesday Connect event for the month of August, held at the University of Canberra; the opening of applications for YMCA Space Camp, a four-day immersive experience for high school students, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Canberra; the launch of the InnovationACT program, Canberra’s largest university entrepreneurship program, primarily catering to Canberra’s tertiary students and finally a National Practitioner’s Workshop, held at the CBR Innovation Network, in which individuals building innovation ecosystems across Australia were brought together for a workshop to explore collaborative opportunities to foster and support Australia’s national innovation ecosystem.

Canberra and its innovation ecosystem are poised for further, quick development, watch this city and Territory for exciting developments to come!

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