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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 August 2016) . . Page.. 2517 ..

interstate students. In addition, a report from Deloitte Access Economics found that the higher education and research sector contributes $2.7 billion per annum to Canberra’s economy and creates approximately 16,000 full-time jobs. It is a significant industry for the ACT and one that as Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research I have been excited to champion to ensure that we can help continue to diversify our economy.

This Barr Labor government is committed to working with the sector to promote Canberra as Australia’s education and research capital, being the first point of contact for the education and research sector for proposals that have economic development opportunities, having an oversight role and ensuring that the economic development aspects of proposals from the sector are given high priority across government, and ensuring that all government directorates are forward looking and work with our local institutions to capitalise on research and innovation opportunities.

In order to achieve each of these things, the government has committed to a number of specific actions to support the development of the sector. Through our study Canberra program the ACT government is working with the educational institutions to enhance the student experience, to ensure coordinated and consistent marketing and to promote Canberra as a higher education destination of choice. This work is essential as the recruitment of international and interstate students not only ensures we bring the best and brightest people to Canberra but also creates approximately 6,100 full-time equivalent jobs and adds $879 million per annum to Canberra’s economy.

The establishment of the CBR Innovation Network two years ago brought together the major higher education and research institutions—ANU, UC, UNSW Canberra, Data 61 and CSIRO—to work collaboratively to drive the government’s innovation agenda. The addition of CIT to the network this year is a very welcome development and brings the vocational education sector into the innovation community.

The agreement of these institutions to join and fund the network is a clear recognition of the need to create a supportive innovation ecosystem if the institutions are to succeed in their goal of commercialising research to the benefit of Canberra and Australia. The recent decision by the government to join the medical research commercialisation fund and the decision to support the establishment of the significant capital ventures fund, a joint initiative of ANU, UC, and the Hindmarsh group, are clear indications of the government’s ongoing support for innovation and commercialisation. Last week I was proud to sign up the ACT to the medical research commercialisation fund, which will help our world-class researchers get the work out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.

The ACT is also set to move to the forefront of healthcare delivery by investing $7.3 million in new diagnosis and patient care technology that will allow existing new and existing drug therapies to be tailored to individual patients based on their genetics and individual conditions. This new genomics program will build on existing research, expertise and achievements of the Centre for Personalised Immunology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the ANU to develop genomics as part of a clinical and diagnostic service in partnership with ACT Health.

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