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Get behind innovators, WA told

WHILE playing host to some of the world’s best innovators, WA businesses are failing to financially back key projects leading some firms to seek venture capital overseas.

That was the clear message from innovators who, over the next fortnight, will be showcasing their know-how and wares at the Australian Innovation Festival that aims to draw attention to WA’s innovators.

Opening the Festival, Deputy Premier Eric Ripper urged investors to get behind WA’s high-tech and research companies, particularly those centred around Technology Park in Bentley.

Mr Ripper said new ideas, innovation and research and development were the keys to creating jobs and attracting increased investment.

He said the Government was playing its role but it was an equally important task for the private sector.

“I urge business, industry and WA’s venture capitalists to get behind the sorts of ideas and companies featured at this Innovation Festival,” Mr Ripper said.

WA attracted just 4.6 per cent or $63 million in Australian private capital funding during 2000-01, according to the Australian Venture Capital Journal/PricewaterhouseCoopers Venture Capital Survey.

A recent study by the WA Technology and Industry Advisory Council shows that R&D spending in WA has consistently declined since 1996-97.

p See Business Planner Page 28

for Festival information.

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