Time to grow for Industry Growth Centres

Reviews of the Industry Growth Centre programme are quietly released, not that it matters

The six centres are tasked to connect industry and researchers in high-growth areas, cyber security, med tech plus pharma and the like.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has released a report on the programme, which is heavy on statistics about workshops but light-on for assessments of value for investment.

The long-awaited review the feds commissioned from consultants Nous Group is also out, praising the programme with faint damns.

Feedback from stakeholders, “is generally positive”, “data collection and performance measurement practices currently lack the rigour required for consistency and alignment,” “more work is required to develop consistent and appropriate approaches …”

And some centres are more “on track” than others. The Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre and Food Innovation Australia are “mostly on track to meet … business plan objectives and funding agreement requirements.”  The Australian Cyber Growth Centre, has met or is on track … ,” and so on.

Overall Nous judges; “it is still too early to definitively assess the levels of additionality or sector-wide impact achieved by each of the growth centres. “

But the centres should not be fussed, having time to get things done. There was $60m in new money in last year’s budget and in her prepared text for the Cooperative Research Centres Association conference in May, Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the government was committed to both programmes.


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