Page 157 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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Mr Barr: Yes.

MADAM SPEAKER: Chief Minister.

MR BARR: The CBR Innovation Network has as its vision to link businesses and entrepreneurs, to accelerate innovation and growth, and to maximise wealth creation. This is undoubtedly the key to further diversification of the ACT’s economy. The innovation network will achieve this through the development of strong linkages across the local innovation sector and, importantly, leveraging off the opportunities and benefits presented through collaboration and shared goals.

The network’s five foundation members—the Australian National University, NICTA, the CSIRO, the University of Canberra and the University of New South Wales Canberra—have made significant contributions both financially and in kind to establish the network, which secures its position as the central player in collaboration and innovation policy in the territory.

Resources such as the Entry 29 co-working space and the GRIFFIN Accelerator further enhance the network’s reach and provide direct and ready access to mentors, resources and investors who support and work with participating companies. These initiatives are aimed squarely at expanding our economic base, diversifying our economy but, most importantly, growing local employment.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, you mentioned that 100 leads had been received. How many were followed up, how many came to fruition, how many jobs were created and what was the dollar value generated in the ACT economy?

MR BARR: All of the leads are followed up. That is Invest Canberra’s job. They work very hard and are doing an outstanding job. I would like to take this opportunity from Mr Smyth’s question to put on the record my appreciation for the hard work of the team of Invest Canberra.

They were particularly active, in partnership with the local organising committee for the Asian Cup, in presenting a number of business seminar and networking opportunities as part of our city’s hosting of the Asian Cup football tournament, which I think everyone agrees was an outstanding success. There were plenty of critics in relation to the ACT government’s investment in that major sporting event, but we took not only an opportunity to promote our city through sporting channels but, through Invest Canberra and the good work of that team, a number of business development opportunities that presented themselves during that tournament.

Invest Canberra report annually in the annual report of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, and I refer the member to that annual report for further information in relation to their work. It is reported annually. I do not have a running counter in my head at question time at this moment. You will get that information in the annual report.

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