ECU Southwest launch virtual village

It’s been named the Creative Tech Village

The new creative tech hub was officially launched by Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson, and Regional Development Minister and Member for Bunbury Don Punch at a lively event in Bunbury.

Minister Dawson said the McGowan Government was investing $US1.2 million in the Creative Tech Village, WA Creative Tech Innovation Hub to help boost these emerging industries, and support training and upskilling across the State.

Regional Development Minister Don Punch said with more than 320 creative and digital businesses, the South-West region was a natural home for the new Creative Tech Village.

A first for the State, the Creative Tech Village will be focused on supporting creative industries such as design, music, advertising, film, and media, as well as emerging technologies including gaming, digital software development and immersive technology.

Edith Cowan University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Regional Futures), Professor Cobie Rudd said the Hub aims to build industry partnerships with regional innovation hubs, the start-up community, and the education sector, bringing together and supporting tech creatives both online and in person at its headquarters in Bunbury.

“The Hub really is a virtual village for tech creatives – it is a State-wide connector model that will link businesses and creative enterprises in regions using digital and immersive technologies,” said Professor Rudd.

“Edith Cowan University is proud to support the development of the creative technologies industry and STEM to embrace the technological future.

Professor Matthew Allen, ECU Executive Dean Arts & Humanities, who joined the day’s celebrations said ECU was really launching a meeting place for the bright minds of the future.

The launch had the Ministers witnessing a significant milestone for the Creative Tech Village’s first international initiative, the Creative Tech Exchange, with the signing of a Letter of Intent with Singhasari SEZ from Indonesia.

The Creative Tech Exchange will focus on developing new international partnerships with creative, tech and innovation collaborators from around the world.

Closer to home, Creative Tech Village announced it was partnering with local high schools in the South-West region to deliver the Innovation Academy.

The Academy is facilitated by Manea College for Year 10 to Year 12 students with eight high schools in the South-West participating.

The program is designed to empower students to see themselves as changemakers and to develop their skills for future career opportunities in the innovation space.

The Creative Tech Exchange and the Innovation Academy are two examples of how the team at the Creative Tech Village, led by Director Mat Lewis, will build capability and capacity in creative and immersive technology industries across WA by:

  • supporting the growth of the State’s future ready workforce, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and innovators.
  • identifying strategic investment opportunities to advance ideas and collaborative opportunities for improved commercial and community outcomes.
  • showcasing independent WA creative talent through partnerships; and

identifying and addressing changes to the development of new industries and job creation.

Professor Cobie Rudd said the Creative Tech Village team had already taken great strides in advancing opportunities in the region and internationally, so the launch was an exciting celebration of things to come.

“We are now more ambitious and motivated than ever in aiming to create a purposeful and authentic contribution to the creative, tech and innovation sectors, to build that village, and that community to ensure a sustainable future is achieved,” said Professor Rudd.

Creative Tech Village, WA Creative Tech Innovation Hub (originally called as WACTIH) is funded by the McGowan Government through its $US16.7 million New Industries Fund and joins the State’s three established innovation hubs in life sciences, data science, and cyber security to help leverage new commercial opportunities, diversify the State’s economy, and create future jobs for Western Australians.



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