Canberra at Night

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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