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.