After championing the importance of innovation in regional communities as part of the Federal Opposition team, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting with Digital Innovation and Start-ups Ed Husic is coming to the Bega Valley to support Regional Innovation Week.

On the ABC’s Q&A last month, Mr Husic has made it clear that regional Australia offers great innovative potential.

“I feel strongly about the fact that we need to advance our efforts to involve regional areas,” Mr Husic told the Q&A audience.

“We can use innovation to create jobs and growth opportunities as our economy transitions to a digital age.”

Labor has announced three waves of meaningful policies to back the talent of Australians wherever they live.

“With two thirds of new startups currently emerging from Sydney, a greater focus needs to be placed on plans to involve the entire country in our nation’s innovation push and to boost the Bega Valley’s role in this effort,” Mr Husic said.

“Any conversation about boosting innovation activity in Australia that doesn’t involve Bega Valley isn’t a conversation worth having because it instantly overlooks the energy that is in this region.”

One key program that was annouced is a $16 million Regional Innovation Fund supporting an expansion of the network of hubs and accelerators across the country with a special focus on regional and rural Australia.

An innovation economy will allow young regional people to stay local –providing a livelihood, economic growth, and a creative environment that competes with what big cities have to offer.

“It’s this vision that drives Regional Innovation Week,” says Liam O’Duibhir, co-founder of 2pi Software and Into IT Sapphire Coast.

“We have this growing community of innovators that collaborate and support each other’s work, but Regional Innovation Week is about building future aspirations.”

“This natural landscape is a big part of why we are here, and now we need to add in the layers of technology and infrastructure that allows this innovation economy to grow further,” he says.

With the goal of creating 1000 innovation jobs in the Bega Valley by 2030, Regional Innovation Week pulls together the people and ideas that will make that happen.

As part of the program of events, Mr Husic will open the Co Working Space (CoWS) Creativity Suite on April 29 in the heart of Bega before speaking at the Hackathon in Merimbula.

Mr Husic and Labor’s candidate for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly will also host a panel discussion on the themes of renewable energy and innovation.

They’ll be joined by Innovation Week experts such as Anna Pino from the ACT Microcredit Loan Program and global strategy and innovation specialist Lachlan James.

Innovation is a key theme in the current economic and political climate, and Regional Innovation Week puts the Bega Valley on that agenda.

For additional program details, please visit

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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