To help Australia compete on an international level, the Turnbull Government is investing $36 million over five years in a Global Innovation Strategy to improve Australia’s international innovation and science collaboration.

What is it?

The Global Innovation Strategy includes $36 million invested over five years to:

  • Establish five ‘Landing Pads’ in global innovation hotspots to support entrepreneurial Australians. Supported by an Austrade coordinator, Landing Pads are an operational physical space in which Australian market-ready startups can access entrepreneurial talent, mentors, investors and a wider connected network of innovation hubs.
  • Provide seed funding to assist Australian businesses and researchers to collaborate with international businesses and researchers through the Global Connections Fund.
  • Reduce barriers to regional collaboration and promote an open-market approach to industry-research collaboration, including Asia-Pacific workshops, multilateral projects and mobility support.

When is it happening?

Implementation of Global Innovation Strategy will begin in the second half of 2016 with funding available from July 2016.

Landing Pads

Austrade received $11.2 million in the 2015–16 Budget to establish five Landing Pads and also develop a new annual in-bound innovation forum, fostering collaboration and attracting international market experts, entrepreneurial talent and investors to Australia.

The Landing Pads are designed to help Australian entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market and build high-growth and high-return enterprises.

Further information about Landing Pads is available on the Australia Unlimited website.

Tel Aviv, Israel

The first Landing Pad was announced in December 2015 at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce business lunch in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The establishment of a Landing Pad in Tel Aviv will provide emerging Australian companies with access to new opportunities to reach global markets.

San Francisco, United States of America

The second Landing Pad was officially launched in February 2016 at RocketSpace, an accelerator based in the heart of San Francisco’s technology hub.

Market-ready startups will be immersed in an environment that will help them accelerate the design and development of their product or service business model by exploring in-market business development, investment, mentorship and strategic partnership opportunities.

Shanghai, China

The third Landing Pad will be established in Shanghai, China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city.

The Australian Government will consult with the Chinese Government and other local stakeholders on the proposal for an intended landing pad in Shanghai.

Berlin, Germany

The fourth Landing Pad was announced in April 2016 and will be established in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin is an emerging major tech hub with an increasingly international startup community. Berlin has a significant presence of major corporations and world-leading innovation research institutions like the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Hasso-Plattner Institute School of Design.

Germany is also one of Australia’s key science collaboration partners, with 516 active bilateral agreements between Australian and German institutions.

Applications open for Landing Pads Business Development Managers

Austrade are seeking experienced, energetic, business professionals to help Australian startups in the proposed Landing Pads.

Business Development Manager – Landing Pad Shanghai (open)

Global Connections Fund

The Global Connections Fund is a new grant initiative under the Global Innovation Strategy.

The grants will enable Australian small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and researchers to explore collaboration projects with international partners in industries of strategic growth in Australia.

There are two types of grants under the Fund: priming grants and bridging grants.

Priming grants are small grants of around $7000 to enable Australian SMEs and Australian researchers to meet and collaborate with international partners to further develop their ideas.

Bridging grants are follow-on grants of up to $50 000 designed as seed funding capital to enable viable projects to grow and test commercialisation.

These grants will be administered by the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

For more information on accessing these grants, visit the Global Connections Fund website

What to do

What is a landing pad?

The Government’s new Landing Pads will be a physical space for Australians looking to undertake entrepreneurial activity in that location with advice, facilities and contacts, putting them in the best position to succeed. Australia is one of the only leading innovation countries without established Landing Pads in key economies around the world.

The Landing Pads will be supported by an Austrade coordinator and will be provided in conjunction with existing non-government programmes in that location.

Existing international collaboration

Australia has a successful record of partnering with overseas researchers and research clusters. The pilot project Connecting Australian-European Science and Innovation Excellence (CAESIE) awarded priming grants of up to AUD$7,000 to support contact between businesses and researchers that had identified a collaborative partnership. This delivered 58 new small-medium enterprise and researcher partnerships which have already yielded four patents and sought over $16 million in funding from $1.9 million European and Australian Government funding.

The National Innovation and Science Agenda builds on this collaboration model by expanding business and research cluster opportunities with priority economies.


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