Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan said businesses and communities across the Northern Rivers will benefit from a more innovative Australia thanks to the Federal Government’s Innovation and Science Agenda announced last week. “Not only are we a very creative and innovative community but with the NBN coming to the Northern Rivers before much of the rest of the country, we are well placed to take advantage of the Federal Government’s innovation agenda,” he said. “There is assistance for local business to innovate and grow, support for entrepreneurs to back their ideas and get access to capital they need, and closer connections between industry and research, particularly in agriculture. “There are also new initiatives for our young people to get the digital literacy and science, technology and maths skills they need for jobs of the future. “The Incubator Support Programme will also focus on regional areas and sectors with high innovation potential. Incentives like tax offsets and capital gains tax exemptions will drive greater investment in region centres to help products and ideas reach the global market.” “The Government will also provide more support to universities, like Southern Cross University, so they can work more closely with industry and business to commercialise their cutting-edge research.” As part of the announcement, Mr Hogan highlighted substantial new investment to boost national science capability and capacity. This includes $450 million over the next four years in National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facilities, the Australian Synchrotron and the Square Kilometre array.