Grant set to boost ACU's entrepreneurial incubator

Doors will open between NSW's brightest startups and breakthrough research via an innovation grant awarded to Australian Catholic University Co-Lab.

The funding commitment, delivered over four years, is an investment in entrepreneurship and knowledge translation to be provided through the New South Wales Government Boosting Business Innovation Program (BBIP).

ACU Co-Lab provides a launchpad for budding enterprises and university alumni, who will flourish thanks to the BBIP investment that is designed to encourage innovation by promoting collaboration between research and business.

The funding commitment is part of $11 million allocated to NSW-based universities and research institutions under the BBIP banner over four years from 2023-27.

The BBIP grant has two funding segments, one for the delivery of aligned activities, and the second is an allocation for NSW TechVouchers. Funding is aligned with targeted industry sectors including clean energy and waste, medical and life sciences and digital technologies.

The program supports publicly funded research organisations to reduce barriers for small and medium enterprises to access research and translate that knowledge and expertise into innovation, productivity gains and product development.

Through its on-campus working hubs and workshops, ACU Co-Lab has created an innovative and entrepreneurial learning environment connecting the university's mission and strategic priorities with industry opportunities.

Since its inception in 2017, more than 330 entrepreneurs have utilised Co-Lab's innovation hubs, with almost 400 jobs created out of that collaboration.

Among those success stories was ACU alumni Andrea Christie-David who sold her business Leor to Australian early childhood education and care powerhouse G8 Education for almost $10 million.

"I found the ACU Co-Lab space really useful in the early days," she said. "And then once I had a bigger team it was fantastic to use the meeting spaces without having to pay when you're on a tight budget in those startup days.

"Since we started using ACU Co-Lab my business has … gone from strength to strength so I've been able to access ACU students through a different collaborative partnership."

If you need any further information, please visit ACU Co-Lab's website.

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