Budget 2019: Billions for STEM commercialisation, but only one mention of “startup”


The government has committed an extra $1.2 billion to Australia’s Medical Research Investment Plan to support commercialisation projects, building on $1.5 billion in existing investment.

As part of a broader $9 billion science, research and technology package detailed in the 2019-20 federal budget on Tuesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg outlined commercialisation as a priority for the coalition heading into the election.

“We’re also backing the industries of the future,” Frydenberg said in his Tuesday night budget speech.

A total of $311.3 million has been provisioned for medical research commercialisation specifically by the government, while a further $400 million was outlined for genomics research to, in the words of the Treasurer, “unlock the secrets of our DNA”.

The funding would be provided to the Genomics Health Futures Mission and would support efforts to “transition great ideas through to proof-of-concept and beyond”.

Startups merited just one specific mention in the 2019-20 budget paper, in reference to a $171 million Adelaide City Deal which would include money for Australia’s space industry.

The Adelaide City Deal includes $6 million in funding for a Mission Control Centre that would be tasked with supporting space startups in the state, as well as conducting research and providing education.

The government opted to secure ongoing funding through to 2022-23 for its Space Infrastructure Fund, outlining $19.5 million to support growth acceleration programs for Australia’s emerging space industry.

NOW READ: Women in STEM has been given a $4.5 million boost, and the promise of an ambassador, but is it enough?

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