Growth Centres report commissioned by Morrison government in 2019 finally made public

An ACIL report commissioned in 2019 by the previous federal government evaluating the impact of the Industry Growth Centres initiative has finally been made publicly available.

Industry Growth Centres Initiative: initial impact evaluation was published on the industry department’s website on Tuesday. The previously-buried report – which Labor unsuccessfully tried to force the release of while in opposition – was leaked to @AuManufacturing last year. 

Editor Peter Roberts wrote in May 2021, the “key findings of the evaluation by ACIL Allen, which have been seen by this reporter, hammer on three occasions the small scale and lack of funding of the IGCs which condemns their work as useful for the companies which receive support, but making no difference to manufacturing as a whole.”

This website was able to share at the time that the report included findings that:

  • “In particular, the GC’s lack the resourcing and structures to drive transformational change at a sectoral level…
  • “…The IGCI’s funding envelope is small relative to that of comparable international programs such as the UK’s Catapult program…
  • And: “…additional funding is required to help GC’s scale.”

And while the growth centres are funded to the tune of $50 million a year:

  • Each Catapult centre is envisaged to have 30 million pounds of funding annually from core funds, commercial investment and R&D funds
  • And the 71 Fraunhofer institutes receive 2.8 billion Euros of public funds annually.

The Growth Centres were announced in 2014, with six centres focussed on driving change in parts of the economy including Advanced Manufacturing, Cyber Security, and Mining Equipment Technology and Services, and on boosting collaboration, commercialisation, skills and regulatory reform. 

The initial impact evaluation report can be accessed here.

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