The Federal Government has announced it will invest $378.6 million in Venture Australia in a bid to grow new Australian knowledge based companies, high-skilled jobs and promote competitive products and services.

Venture Australia will be formed under the Government’s recently announced Industry and Innovation Statement.

The venture policy also includes:

  • a new $350 million round of equity funding through the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program to attract private sector investment into this high growth and dynamic area;
  • changes to tax concessions to provide clarity and certainty for private sector investors and to facilitate investment by 'angel' syndicates; and
  • promoting success stories of new Australian firms to global venture capital markets, to showcase the capabilities of Australia's innovative firms and to attract international investment.

"The Venture Australia package will deliver capital to innovative technology based companies with high growth potential, provide clarity about tax treatment for private investment in venture capital and promote Australian innovation here and overseas," Treasurer Wayne Swan said.

"Venture Australia is focused on Australia's future economic prosperity in an increasingly technology driven world. We want to provide the environment to encourage and support Australia's entrepreneurial talent in the Asian Century."

Mr Swan said the Government would return all financial profits from successful joint ventures under IIF funding to the existing Revolving Fund and so ensure it is re-committed to future equity funds.

"The Revolving Fund will guarantee the continued cycling of capital for supporting the competitive firms of the future," Mr Swan said.

"New innovative enterprises are vital to build a knowledge economy, to foster productivity growth, to create high skilled jobs and to underpin the competitiveness of the economy as a whole."