The official opening of the Shire of Murray’s Food Innovation Precinct Western Australia (FIPWA) on Friday, February 24 by The Hon. Jackie Jarvis MLC Minister for Agriculture and Food; Small Business and The Hon. Don Punch MLA Minister for Regional Development has resulted in excitement for agrifood businesses.
As a result of the opening of FIPWA, businesses now have the ability to access research and development (R&D), small batch manufacturing and growth-oriented innovation services all in one place. This is a possibility for the first time in Western Australia.
Following the FIPWA launch, the Peel Development Commission (PDC) sponsored a FIPWA activation workshop-series, via the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA). Entitled ‘Innovation in WA’s Agfood Sector’ the round table event was a collaboration between Agristart, City of Canning, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Spacecubed and Triangle Equity Partners, and shared news of programs that will enable agrifood businesses to access a continuum of structured programs and sessions at the FIPWA – from early stage start-up, scale ups to export orientation and more.
Value-added, functional foods, nutrition, technology adoption, trading, export markets, packaging and sustainability were some of the key issues drawn on by the collaborators at the discussion held onsite at FIPWA, located just outside Mandurah in Stake Hill, which was attended by more than 50 people from business, academia and government.
It is expected that most of these matters will be addressed through the programs offered by the collaborators at the FIPWA which can be accessed by local businesses. The programs vary in duration, level of commitment, and costs associated. Businesses associated with FIPWA and their partners are also encouraged to consider applying for the Enterprise Support Program for co-funding support.
Agristart delivers the HARVEST Accelerator program which is targeted at the AgriTech sector. Details can be found here: Harvest Accelerator — AgriStart
The City of Canning has a series of programs on offer under its Canning Business Mentoring Program of which the SPRINT (delivered by Spacecubed) and Scale (delivered by Triangle Equity Partners) will be of great interest to businesses associated with FIPWA. Details can be found here: City of Canning – Canning Business Mentoring Program
Similarly, DPIRD offers a wide variety of programs, including the Export Pathways Program which will be of great interest to FIPWA members who can find more details on the department’s website www.agric.wa.gov.au.
While some of the programs have recently opened for applications, some are set to come online in a few months. The collaborators are also working on new programmatic interventions to fill gaps in the market that will further enable agrifood businesses to grow.
Comments attributed to:
David Doepel – Chair, Peel Development Commission
“I commend the Shire of Murray and all partners across industry, academia and government on the delivery of the FIPWA, demonstrating excellent collaboration at all levels.
“The FIPWA ecosystem will provide robust support mechanisms and significant growth opportunities for the WA food and beverage manufacturing sector—a major step towards achieving the Peel Development Commission’s Transform Peel objectives.”
Brodie McCulloch – Founder and Managing Director, Spacecubed
“It is great to see that FIPWA has been established to support innovation in the value-add food sector. This provides the opportunity for new products to be developed from idea or research all the way through manufacturing, packaging and distribution.
“I am excited about some of the programs to be developed to reduce the barrier for people starting up new, and innovative, food enterprises and look forward to the Spacecubed community being able to access these amazing facilities and support programs.”
Dean Unsworth, CEO – Shire of Murray
“The FIPWA has been established with a sole objective of growing agrifood businesses in WA. This growth will come through R&D commercialisation, product development, innovation, trade and export.
“To realise this goal, we needed to activate and sustain a meaningful coalition of partners that can support the industry. I am pleased that this collaboration which includes local and State government has also brought together the private sector that will strengthen the business ecosystem at FIPWA.”
Liam O’Connell – Executive Director, Agribusiness, Food and Trade, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)
“The launch of the FIPWA is an exciting step. This leading-edge precinct will support our State’s innovative food and beverage businesses to develop and commercialise new products – particularly with the addition of the new Food Technology Facility.
“DPIRD encourages start-ups and agrifood businesses to explore how FIPWA and any programs, courses and events held there can help take their enterprises to the next level and drive growth and opportunities.”
Dr. Tash Teakle – Managing Director – AgriStart
“It is exciting to see a facility like FIPWA launched in WA, and the Food Technology Facility that will be opening later in 2023 will be an exciting opportunity for early stage WA food and beverage companies. We see it being a great opportunity to grow value add food production in WA.
“AgriStart is looking forward to running part of the 2023 HARVEST Agtech Accelerator program at FIPWA as we continue to support early stage ventures to connect to the WA agrifood industry and scale their business.”
Greg Riebe – Partner, Triangle Equity Partners
“The Food Innovation Precinct WA is a really impressive facility and critical to help our fantastic food artisans in WA to grow strong value-added food and beverage businesses. A great resource for the State.
“Triangle Equity Partners, through its ScaleUpWA program, is pleased to collaborate with FIPWA to help these WA food & beverage businesses to get scale, create and capture value business value through transformation and export.”
Patrick Hall – Mayor, City of Canning
“Off the back of the City’s launch of the Canning Vale Food Value Add Precinct Report last year, we are excited to work in partnership with both the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the new Food Innovation Precinct WA to support the ScaleUpWA program for our local food and beverage industry.
“Delivered as part of the longstanding Canning Business Mentoring Program, we see the benefit of this partnership that will facilitate connections between an increasing network of food and beverage related businesses across Canning and WA, along with the associated supporting ecosystem that can help them grow and thrive.”