A State Government-backed $200 million venture capital fund will help propel WA to become a major innovation hub, says CCIWA.
In a pre-budget submission to the WA Government, CCIWA outlines how a proposed fund will fast track growth across emerging sectors, attract global entrepreneurs and deepen the private investor pool for start-ups.
Mirroring models in Israel and New Zealand, the fund will operate separately from Government, with clear funding arrangements and rules.
CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey says WA holds just 2% of national venture capital funding.
“WA has world-leading skills in automation, technology and clean energy thanks to a decades-long mining boom, but we need private investment to incubate the next big ideas,” he says.
“There are significant opportunities for WA in remote operations, space, biological and medical technology, defence and clean energy.
“The skills and ideas are there and when the right conditions are in place, Western Australian entrepreneurs and businesses can compete on a global scale.”
Morey hopes the fund will attract specialist venture capital funding in relevant sectors.
“We’ve seen from examples overseas that when Government is willing to back these entrepreneurs, it gives private investors the confidence to follow suit,” he says.
“The Government needs to show global investors that WA is serious about backing new ideas.”
CCIWA welcomes the Government’s innovation funding, including the New Industries Fund’s X-Tend grant program and West Australian Venture Support.
But more action is needed to ensure WA’s competitiveness on a global scale, Morey says.
“We need to do all we can to make it attractive for Western Australian innovators to stay, while also attracting entrepreneurs to WA to make the most of opportunities across the Indo-Pacific,” he says.