A funding win for the University of New England’s Smart Region Incubator, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, right, UNE Vice Chancellor and CEO Professor Brigid Heywood, left, and Incubator Director Dr Lou Conway, centre.
Monday, 2 August 2021
THE University of New England’s (UNE) SMART Region Incubator (SRI) is continuing to explore the uncharted reaches of the region’s economy, utilising a $798,500 bushfire recovery grant, co-funded by the NSW and Australian Governments, to deliver business support programs through its planned new premises in the Armidale CBD called NOVA.
The funding has been delivered through Stage Two of the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund.
The fit out of NOVA in the old Armidale Library building on Faulkner Street will be funded by a $900,000 commitment by UNE, supported by a peppercorn lease arrangement for the building with Armidale Regional Council.
Mr Marshall said the SRI would deliver business resilience and growth programs in an effort to help businesses succeed and to grow the economy.
“NOVA will be a launch pad for entrepreneurs looking to explore agriculture, creative industries, environment, renewable energy, food processing and health,” Mr Marshall said.
“Over the next two years NOVA will deliver programs to support local businesses to recover, grow and build resilience to future natural disasters.
“The premises itself has been designed to foster innovation, delivering a co-working space that includes hot desks, offices, meeting rooms, presentation spaces and a podcast and video recording room.
“With a focus on getting entrepreneur’s ideas from concept stage into practice a variety of workshops will be held by the SRI, networking fledgling operators with those in the know.
“At its heart this project is about giving new businesses every chance they need to succeed, create jobs and contribute to making the economy of the New England as strong as it can possibly be.”
UNE Vice Chancellor and CEO Professor Brigid Heywood said that SRI’s NOVA in is in line with UNE’s strategy to support resilient regional communities.
“With the backing of the NSW and Australian Governments, NOVA will support solutions that will deliver real impact for this region’s business community, as well as emerging entrepreneurs,” Professor Heywood said.
“I am excited about the opportunities and innovative partnerships that NOVA will facilitate for businesses, our students and our existing powerful community of business founders linked through UNE’s SRI.”