Hub to boost State's creative and immersive technology industries

Western Australia's emerging creative and immersive technology industries have received a boost, with the official launch of the State's first Creative Tech Innovation Hub.
  • Western Australia's first Creative Tech Innovation Hub officially launches
  • WA Government to invest $1.2 million in WA Creative Tech Innovation Hub (WACTIH)
  • WACTIH signs Letter of Intent with Singhasari SEZ from Indonesia

Western Australia's emerging creative and immersive technology industries have received a boost, with the official launch of the State's first Creative Tech Innovation Hub.

The WA Creative Technology Innovation Hub (WACTIH) is a State-wide network which will bring together and support tech creatives both online and in person at its headquarters in Bunbury.

The hub aims to build industry partnerships with regional innovation hubs, the startup community and the education sector.

A first for the State, the Hub 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.

The McGowan Government will invest $1.2 million over four years in WACTIH, which enables collaboration with Edith Cowan University, the City of Bunbury, industry and local communities.

Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson, and Regional Development Minister and Member for Bunbury Don Punch today joined around 120 attendees at an event in Bunbury to launch WACTIH.

The Ministers witnessed a significant milestone for WACTIH'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, WACTIH 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 WACTIH, 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, startups, 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.

WACTIH is funded by the McGowan Government through its $16.7 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.

Comments attributed to Innovation and the Digital Economy Minister Stephen Dawson:

"We know that emerging creative and immersive technology industries have the potential to make a significant contribution to our economy, and create future-proof jobs for Western Australians.

"The McGowan Government is investing $1.2 million in the WA Creative Tech Innovation Hub to help boost these emerging industries, and support training and upskilling across the State.

"WACTIH is a State-wide network for interactive and tech-savvy entrepreneurship, learning, research and integration of digital technologies."

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Don Punch:

"With more than 320 creative and digital businesses, the South-West region is a natural home for the new WA Creative Tech Innovation Hub.

"I look forward to seeing the opportunities WACTIH creates not only for the South-West region but across the State, and beyond.

"It is exciting to see local high schools already partnering with WACTIH to empower students and help them develop skills for the jobs of the future."

Comments attributed to Edith Cowan University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Regional Futures), Professor Cobie Rudd:

"This Hub - 'WACTIH' - or as we like to think of it as a virtual village for tech creatives - is a State-wide connector model that will link businesses and creative enterprises in regions using digital and immersive technologies.

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

"Our Hub Team have already taken great strides in advancing opportunities in the region and internationally - 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."

Minister's office - 6552 5800