Labor taking the lead on supporting Innovation

20 October 2015

Labor will bring together venture capital, superannuation, startups and peak industry bodies on 12 November for the inaugural roundtable of the Innovation Investment Partnership (IIP).

The launch of the IIP will be hosted in Canberra by Bill Shorten, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Innovation Senator Kim Carr, Shadow Minister for Financial Services Jim Chalmers and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting with Digital Innovation and Startups Ed Husic.

The majority of jobs to be created over the next decade and beyond will be in companies that don’t exist today.

Australia has some great startups – they are also significant and growing employers – but we need more companies like these.

Australia currently has one of the lowest rates of startup formation in the world.

Labor believes government has a role to play – not replacing private investment, or crowding it out but by fostering a culture of innovation, rewarding people for good ideas, supporting young people to kick-off their own startups and getting behind Australian creativity and enterprise.

A big part of creating the environment where the startups of the future can flourish is unlocking greater opportunities from angel and venture capital investors, and building links with Australia’s $2 trillion superannuation pool. The Partnership will explore ways that encourage superannuation to invest in and support venture capital in Australia, as occurs in almost every other developed economy in the world.

That is why Labor has written to leaders in Australian venture capital, superannuation, startups and industry bodies inviting them to participate in the IIP.

The IIP is part of Labor’s comprehensive plan to take advantage of the transition to the digital economy to secure today’s jobs, tomorrow’s jobs and ensure that no one is left behind.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Promote the teaching of coding and computational thinking in every primary and secondary school in Australia;

  • Boost the number of young Australians taking up STEM courses at university as well as upskill 25,000 teachers;

  • Offer a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start their own enterprise;

  • Attract the best entrepreneurial talent from around the world and help build Australia’s growing startup economy through two new visa categories;

  • Get startups to help solve government problems through Challenge Platforms and support startups to compete in government tenders;

  • Generate the skills required for our emerging digital economy now through a National Digital Workforce Plan;

  • Back in great ideas through co-investing in early stage and high potential companies through the $500 million Smart Investment Fund; and

  • Improve access to finance for micro-businesses through a partial guarantee scheme, Start-Up Finance.

Further details about the Innovation Investment Partnership will be announced in coming weeks.

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