The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitments with a $7.9 million package in the 2011-12 Victorian Budget for technology-focused initiatives to drive innovation and help create a stronger economy.
The package will fund the delivery of the Coalition's commitment to establish:
- the Office of the Lead Scientist ($5.3 million over 4 years);
- the Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council ($1.2 million over 4 years);
- the Industry Sustainability Working Committee ($1 million over 2 years); and
- collaborative networks for technology transfer ($0.4 million over 3 years).
Minister for Innovation Louise Asher said the Office of the Lead Scientist will articulate a clear vision and strategic goals for science, technology and innovation.
"The Office has an important role that will support the development and direction of innovation and science policy," Ms Asher said.
"The Office will provide advice on major science, technology and research infrastructure, help build links between institutions and industries across the innovation value chain and support the commercialisation of Victorian research."
The Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council will report directly to Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips and provide a direct link between industry and government in fostering Victoria's dynamic biotechnology industry.
"The Council will support the Coalition Government's commitment to working with Victorian businesses in the development and direction of innovation and science policy, technology and research," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
Ms Asher said the Industry Sustainability Working Committee will liaise with industry, research and educational organisations and provide strategic advice to the Government on industry sustainability issues.
"The Committee will help to ensure that Victorian businesses and industry operate in a more sustainable way and that Victorians have the skills and opportunities to secure jobs in the emerging green economy," Ms Asher said.
Ms Asher said the new Collaborative Networks for Technology Transfer would help to bring private companies, industry organisations and different levels of government together and generate solutions to specific industry problems.
"It will establish formal commercialisation networks between industry and the private sector and develop a suitable showcase to further promote the commercial technology opportunities identified through the initiative," Ms Asher said.
Ms Asher and Mr Rich-Phillips said the four technology-focused initiatives delivered on the Coalition's election commitments and would capitalise on Victoria's innovation strengths through collaboration and partnership.