Budget covers $392m for industry growth, $101m for quantum and AI

Image credit: peshkova/stock.adobe.com

The Albanese Government has earmarked $392 million for the Industry Growth Program in the form of grants to start-ups and small-to-medium businesses as well as $101 million for the development of quantum and artificial intelligence industries.

The announcement in the 2023 Federal budget is part of more than $500 million in funding that Science and Industry Minister Ed Husic says will “lay the foundations for future economic growth in science and industry.”

In particular, the new $392 million Industry Growth Program will help start-ups and small-to-medium firms grow by providing grants and advice to help them commercialise their ideas.

The government claimed that by supporting Australia’s innovators with funding and advice, they will be able to make the transition from having a great idea to developing a business plan to becoming a successful company. 

In turn, the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) will have access to more investment-ready projects in the future years through Australia’s new industry growth initiative.

“This end-to-end approach will maximise the return on taxpayers’ investments and provide a clear pathway for our entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into thriving businesses in Australia instead of overseas,” the government said in a statement. 

In addition, the government will invest $101 million in the responsible development of Australia’s quantum and artificial intelligence industries.

The funding will also complement Australia’s first National Quantum Strategy, which was launched last week, as well as the government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.

According to Minister Ed Husic, the national strategy will act as the compass for future government, startups, industry partners, and academic collaborations. 

The strategy emphasises five major areas: investing in R&D and commercialisation, securing infrastructure and materials, developing a trained workforce, supporting national interests, as well as building a trustworthy, ethical, and inclusive environment.

With a $15 million investment to encourage local manufacturing of renewable energy technology, the government said it is delivering on its election promise to establish a Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre.