NAB joins with WSU to support SMEs
Small businesses are set to benefit from new co working spaces and collaboration opportunities with world experts with Western Sydney University and NAB today announcing a new partnership to drive Western Sydney’s innovation eco-system. The collaboration is part of the University’s ‘Launch Pad’ program – a major initiative developed with government and corporate partners.
The partnership will see NAB become the exclusive banking and financial services partner of Launch Pad.
“Western Sydney is undergoing an investment boom, with opportunity for current and future industries to re-position, innovate and contribute even more to the Australian economy. As the biggest business bank in the country, we’re proud to be working with businesses in the western Sydney region who are delivering the ideas, solutions and products that become the success stories of the 21st century,” says Mr Spiro Pappas, Executive General Manager, Business Banking at NAB.
Professor Scott Holmes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) at Western Sydney University, says the University’s Launch Pad initiative is about supporting the development of a tech start-up sector in Western Sydney and accelerating innovation within the region’s large number of SMEs.
“As Australia’s fastest growing and third largest regional economy, Western Sydney has the investment and entrepreneurial spirit to transform the region into a global technology hub able to drive new industries and create smart jobs for the future,” says Professor Holmes.
“This partnership signals the new level of collaboration required between universities, government and industry to make this kind of transformation a reality and secure the region’s economic future in a world increasingly disrupted by new technologies.”
Western Sydney stretches over nearly 9,000 square kilometres of residential, industrial and rural land. With a population that will reach approximately three million people by 2031, the region is forecast to create 380,000 new jobs and enjoy an investment boom of up to $30 billion worth of new infrastructure projects.
The announcement complements the University’s ‘Western Sydney Innovation Corridor’ economic development strategy.
The Corridor seeks to optimise State and Commonwealth planning along with infrastructure and investment commitments in Western Sydney by gathering, activating, and promoting the diverse set of new opportunities within the region.
“Initiatives such as Launch Pad show us that it is not individuals that unlock an idea’s potential, rather it is the pathways, applications and solutions arising from working together that bring about real innovation,” says Professor Holmes.
- The Launch Pad initiative supports business by delivering assistance to startups and high growth SMEs.
- The program provides access to a network of modern co-working / innovation spaces (called Smart Business Centres). These centres provide business accommodation and incubation along with providing access to specialist business advice, mentoring, events, networking, training and education.
- Launch Pad clients work within a highly collaborative environment with other technology-focused entrepreneurs, leading to problem solving, sharing of expertise and experience and high levels of connectivity.
- Launch Pad also provides its clients with a central access point to the resources of the broader University to work with experts and researchers, along with linking industry to an extensive range of facilities and scientific testing equipment for prototyping and research and development activities.
- Launch Pad Centres will be established at key locations throughout the Western Sydney Innovation Corridor and in Parramatta enabling them to serve as activation points to support local priorities and innovation assets in areas including Parramatta CBD and Westmead, Penrith, The Hills, Liverpool, Macarthur and Hawkesbury.
Other Launch Pad partners include:
- NSW Department of Industry
- Larson & Toubro (L&T) – India
- Western Sydney Business Connection
- Parramatta City Council, Penrith City Council, Liverpool City Council, Camden Council