Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, University of New England Head of Business School Professor Alison Sheridan and Dr Lou Conway (photos 1 & 3) University of New England Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Sue Thomas (photo 2) at the launch of the UNE SMART Region Incubator today with $1 million State Government grant.
Monday, 8 August 2016
A NEW $1 million partnership between the NSW Government and the University of New England (UNE) will help business innovators and agricultural entrepreneurs develop their ideas and build their markets.
Announcing the establishment of the SMART Region Incubator at UNE today, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said the initiative would help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the North West hatch ideas and initiatives that might otherwise stay stillborn.
“This $1 million from the state government’s Boost program has been provided to help UNE develop a space where businesses and researchers can collaborate on new ideas, and develop them using shared technology and resources,” Mr Marshall said.
The incubator will also help UNE students and researchers with promising ideas explore avenues for commercialisation.
“We want to make it easier for businesses and researchers in the New England region to share ideas at a national and international level, and grow their enterprises,” Mr Marshall said.
“The University of New England has the knowledge and data to support this aim, and this project will provide it with the infrastructure.
“The SMART Region Incubator also ties in with my drive to build the transport and infrastructure capacity of Armidale and the region, so the electorate can fulfill its considerable promise as a centre of commerce and innovation.”
The project will provide a new platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs to access the latest research data and information being generated by the UNE SMART Farm and the Centre for Agribusiness, Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro explained.
“The programs being run by the UNE are a fantastic example of the kind of innovation we’re driving in NSW to encourage and strengthen the businesses that will create the jobs of the future,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Funding through the Boost Program will help to accelerate local industry development and support better research and business networks throughout the region.”
University of New England Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Sue Thomas said the University was delighted to be working closely with industry to promote greater collaboration between NSW research organisations and the business community.
“The project has enormous potential to leverage technology and research results to achieve commercial outcomes, and I look forward to seeing positive and sustained results,” Ms Thomas said.