A new dedicated digital innovation hub has been opened at Federation University’s Flecknoe Building, providing a space for entrepreneurs, startups, technology specialists and researchers to collaborate within a single space.
The new space, Runway Ballarat, is to foster entrepreneurship, digital service and product development and support the commercialisation of new innovative products. The hub features a fabrication laboratory that will allow the manufacture of prototypes.
The hub, funded with $4.3 million from the Victorian government, was launched this week by the state regional development minister, Jaala Pulford.
“Runway Ballarat presents a huge opportunity to build on Ballarat’s ICT and digital strengths and will help turn these skills into new industries, new jobs and grow our digital economy,” Pulford said.
“Innovation is a key to the future of our economy and regional Victorians have shown us time and time again their strengths in thinking outside the box. Ballarat is a natural home for this innovation lab.”
The opening of the hub was also accompanied by the launch of the Ballarat Runway Accelerator Program. Runway’s accelerator program nurtures regional start-ups and entrepreneurs and has already guided 47 people through its Geelong program.
State innovation and digital economy minister Philip Dalidakis said that the government was investing in a sector that will help the Victorian economy diversify and remain competitive in the future.
“We are excited to partner with Federation University and Runway to deliver this project, which cements Ballarat as Australia’s leading regional centre for digital industries,” Dalidakis said.