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Aus: innovation fund needed to support edtech

Australia’s strong position within the edtech space is under threat of being surpassed by emerging and established global players if more is not done to support and nurture it, according to a new report from edtech sector advocate EduGrowth.

The report calls for increased collaboration between the industry, Australian education providers and government. Photo: Bett show

Linke suggested the creation of an innovation fund to minimise risk

The Enabling the growth of the Australian Edtech ecosystem report, which overviewed the current position of the country’s sector, recommended the establishment of an innovation fund, testbed activation, and increased collaboration between the industry, education providers and government.

“[There] are pockets where there needs to be more support”

“It’s really healthy, and the ecosystem’s doing really well and it’s growing,” said David Linke, managing director of EduGrowth.

“[But there] are pockets where there needs to be more support and there are players in that innovation ecosystem that need a pathway and a framework into it.”

Speaking with The PIE News, managing director of EduGrowth David Linke said while Australia’s edtech sector was healthy and growing, there were segments that needed more support and pathways for it to continue to succeed.

Linke added further cross-sector collaboration between developers, education providers, and government was required to continue to take advantage of Australia’s comparatively safe investment environment, and financial and regulatory markets.

“All of those things are in our favour, but if we think that it’s going to happen without having a combined multi-stakeholder approach to it then we may potentially miss that opportunity,” he said.

“Other countries are going to actively go and say, ‘well how do we pick up part of that business and how do we operate in different models’.”

Linke suggested the creation of an innovation fund, which would draw contributions from education providers and government, to minimise risk.

“If we want to incentivise education providers to be part of innovation and we want to incentivise them to be part of things that may not work… there are models that you can borrow from around the world,” pointing the UK’s EdTech Innovation Fund.

In 2017, Navitas Ventures, a foundation partner of EduGrowth, said Australia was well placed to become a global leader in edtech.

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