3 July 2023

Sky's the limit for start-ups as Innovation Network partners with Canberra Airport

| Katrina Condie
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CBRIN CEO Petr Adamek and Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron sign the Gold partnership agreement signalling the start of an exciting collaboration. Photo: CBRIN.

An exciting new partnership between Canberra Airport and the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) is opening more doors for local entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups.

The airport recently jumped on board as a Gold sponsor and CBRIN CEO Petr Adamek said its support would help the growth and development of innovative businesses via a range of programs that include mentoring, skills development, access to co-working, incubation, acceleration, research linkages and funding.

The partnership will provide new networking and promotional opportunities for small businesses, and promote Canberra as a hub for international business and innovation.

“Partnering with the Canberra Airport really extends the Canberra innovation ecosystem,” Mr Adamek said.

“This is a very important collaboration for CBRIN because we want to build momentum and continue to attract other successful local businesses that will work with us to support the next generation of entrepreneurs here in Canberra.”

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CBRIN is a non-profit organisation founded by national and regional higher education and research institutions with support from the ACT Government and a group of corporate partners.

Under the Gold partnership, Canberra Airport will provide annual financial contributions and in-kind resources to support CBRIN’s programs and initiatives.

Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron said the company was “committed to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canberra region”.

“We see this partnership as an opportunity to give back to the community and help grow the regional economy through the development of new businesses and technologies,” he said.

“Investing in CBRIN aligns with the entrepreneurship and innovation values of our company’s founders.”

two bosses and staff

Representatives from Canberra Airport and CBRIN celebrate their new partnership. Photo: CBRIN.

Mr Byron said the partnership would contribute to the growth of Canberra with the goal of making it an “international city” through aviation connections and business opportunities.

“We aim to connect Canberra with global networks, attract international investment, and create business opportunities for local companies,” he said.

“By investing in CBRIN, we can actively realise this goal and help position Canberra as a hub for international business and innovation.”

A major regional transport gateway and a significant contributor to the economic and social development of the region, Canberra Airport provides air travel services to millions of passengers each year and operates a variety of other business ventures, including commercial and retail property development and management, land development as well as charities.

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CBRIN chair Hala Batainah said the experience and resources on offer at the airport were a great asset to the community and would further the organisation’s goal to establish Canberra as “a leader in innovation”.

CBRIN’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to make an impact and change the world and, in doing so, will strengthen the position of Canberra as a clever, connected and creative city where entrepreneurs and businesses build on the city’s excellence in research and innovation to create social and economic benefits for all citizens.

Start-up programs are designed to enable budding entrepreneurs as well as small and medium businesses to build on their ambition and reach their potential by connecting them with leading experts and mentors.

“We’re an incubator for business growth in Canberra, and we’d love to see more partners coming on board,” Mr Adamek said.

Canberra Airport joins other Canberra Innovation Network Gold Partners, including Optus, PwC Australia and King&Wood Mallesons in providing key complementary resources and opportunities for the region’s ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs.


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Tom Worthington4:42 pm 05 Jul 23

Perhaps drones are an area for Canberra Airport, and Canberra Innovation Network to explore. Wellcamp airport scored a coup by being named as the location for Boeing to build Loyal Wingman military drones. But there is scope for more such aircraft to be developed here for the defence force. The Loyal Wingman is a reality high cost reusable aircraft, and there is a need for lower cost aircraft which is expendable.

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