The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has funded Meshpoints’ “Building Capacity in Regional Innovation (BCRI)” project through its Regional New Industries Fund (RNIF). The BCRI initiative expands on Meshpoints existing work in supporting and empowering regional innovators and entrepreneurs by providing mentoring and support to innovation hub operators and champions across the nine regions of Western Australia.
The funding round also awarded grants to support Creative Albany, and the Aquaculture Council of WA. This funding has enabled Meshpoints to engage Katie van den Brand as Meshpoints Lead, to coordinate activities, mentor and capacity build the innovation leaders in each of the regions, and explore sustainable growth options for the future of Meshpoints. The funding will also supports the delivery of learning modules to identified innovation leaders in the regions, and the coordination of an Innovation Facilitators Regional Tour.
Katie has been an active member of the Meshpoints team for over 2 years coordinating Meshpoints activities to help bring active innovation facilitators in the regions together to share their journey, and learn from each other. In addition, Katie has been working as a consultant on Meshpoints Projects in the Pilbara with the development of WEB Business Hub (Port Hedland) and The Edge (Newman), and leading the South West Ecosystem Mapping project in 2018. As a past Director of Innovation at Maker + Co, a coworking, innovation and incubation space in the heart of Bunbury, Katie has had first hand experience in the challenges and opportunities faced by those growing Innovation Ecosystems in Regional WA.
Her career has spanned many industries, working in the NFP sector, Training, Education, Government and Mining (with a bit of a stint in Europe as a Tour Leader too). Katie has been a speaker for Australia Post Regional Pitchfest (2017) and The inaugural 8Point8 Regional Innovation and Small Business Conference (2018), keynote at the TechTrails STEM and Future Skills workshop (2017) as well as sitting on the Board of the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 3 years, serving as Vice President for 2 of those years.
The RNIF is designed to support projects that build entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialisation to accelerate venture creation and economic diversification. The outcome of this project will see a strong network of regionally based innovation facilitators that are able to share expertise, intellectual property and technology to increase capacity and grow the innovation ecosystem in each of their regions.
To get in touch, just email: Katie@meshpoints.com