6 tips on new Australian funding opportunities in innovation

Women working on a computer. Photo by: Startup Photos

A report from the University of Technology Sydney has been instrumental in developing a new funding initiative of the Australian aid program to encourage the scale-up of innovative ideas in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing Report was commissioned by innovationXchange, a unit within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to support innovation across the Australian aid program. Its aim is to provide insight into social entrepreneurship and impact investing in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region and its potential for greater impact within the aid program, and it is already impacting new initiatives.

At an event this week in Canberra the minister for foreign affairs, Julie Bishop, launched the $15 million Australian dollar ($12.1 million) Frontier Innovators initiative. The program, open for submission of ideas until September 30, will provide support and opportunity for startups to scale projects driving development in the Indo-Pacific, and was based in part on the UTS research.

Fifteen innovators will be selected as part of the scheme, each receiving up to $100,000 Australian dollars ($80,620) to drive their idea and initiative that supports one or more of the 31 countries in the Australia’s aid programs priority region further. Bishop additionally announced that Australia would be contributing future rounds of GSMA Mobile’s Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, a $5.6 million Australian dollar ($4.5 million) investment over three years.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.