Media Statements
Hon Stephen Dawson MLC
Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and ICT; Medical Research; Volunteering
A two-year project to accelerate the development of the State’s innovation ecosystem kicks off today, with a team from Western Australia joining the latest cohort of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP).
 
Over the next two years, guided by leading professors and research, the team will undertake a thorough examination of WA’s innovation ecosystem, comparing and contrasting its activities and performance with others around the world.
 

WA joins seven other regions in Cohort 9 of MIT REAP, which includes Piauí (Brazil), Hungary, the Dominican Republic, and United States teams from Kansas City, Des Moines, Omaha and St Louis.
 
WA’s team is made up of representatives from across the State’s innovation ecosystem, including from government, corporates, entrepreneurs, investors and universities.
 
MIT REAP Team WA consists of:
Most of the team members have travelled to the world-renowned university in Boston for the first workshop, which is being held from June 28 to 30.
 
As part of the workshop, team members will attend sessions with MIT professors and members of other cohorts.
 
It is the first of four in-person visits that will take place over the next two years – three at MIT and one in a host country.
 

Team WA’s participation in MIT REAP has been made possible with support from Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto, as well as from the other organisations, including the WA Government’s New Industries Fund.
 
More information about MIT REAP Team WA is available at https://reap.mit.edu/cohort/western-australia
 
Comments attributed to Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson:
 
"Supporting business and innovation is at the heart of the McGowan Labor Government’s ability to diversify WA’s economy.
 
"Our goal is to create jobs through innovation to help diversify the State’s economy, grow new sectors and position WA as the best place for innovators to live and work.
 
"Participating in MIT REAP is a chance for Western Australia to examine our own early-stage innovation ecosystem, see where the gaps are, how to fill them and what is best practice around the world.
 
"By comparing and contrasting ourselves to other regions in the world, we can take what works well elsewhere, what makes sense for Western Australia and try it here.
 
"Over the next two years, I look forward to seeing how participating in MIT REAP boosts our early-stage innovation system and helps make Western Australia the best place it can be for entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups."
 
Comments attributed to Woodside Energy Executive Vice President Technical Services Daniel Kalms:
 
"Woodside is proud to be a part of Team WA in Cohort 9 of MIT’s REAP program.
 
"We want to encourage a thriving culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship within the WA industrial ecosystem, not just in Perth but also in more regional areas.
 
"REAP provides the opportunity to drive a more unified approach to innovation and entrepreneurship in Western Australian which will strengthen our communities and WA’s ability to grow and prosper."
 

Comments attributed to Rio Tinto Chief Scientist Nigel Steward:
 
"This program provides a fantastic opportunity to help develop and grow the enormous pool of entrepreneurial talent we have in Western Australia with respect to technology and innovation.
 
"Rio Tinto has long championed the role of Western Australia’s resources sector in promoting the deployment of cutting-edge technologies like the unprecedented use of automation and robotics at our newest iron ore mine Gudai-Darri, which we opened last week.
 
"We’re very proud to support this endeavour, in partnership with the WA Government and our industry colleagues, which we believe has the potential to deliver enormous future benefits for the State’s economy."
 
Minister’s office - 6552 5800

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