The IPA-Deakin University SME Research Centre has been officially launched at a special event in Melbourne today.
The Centre is an expansion of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) and Deakin University SME Research Partnership that published the first-ever Australian Small Business White Paper in 2015. The dedicated SME Research Centre is located within the Deakin Business School and is set to drive the development of small business globally.
Giving the keynote address at today’s event, the former federal minister for small business and inaugural Chair of the Research Centre’s Advisory Board, the Hon Bruce Billson congratulated the IPA and Deakin University for the collaboration and commitment being made to the small business/SME sectors.
“This is such an exciting initiative and genuinely shows that the critical role played by small business in a modern and emerging economy is being taken seriously,” said Mr Billson.
“I am delighted to play a role in this endeavour, having accepted the opportunity to chair the Centre’s Advisory Board. Together, we will drive great results for the advancement of small businesses and SMEs,” said Mr Billson.
“Through the IPA Deakin SME Research Centre, we want to ensure there is a rigorous evidential base as the foundation of future policy that will drive ongoing discourse and provide a credible voice for small businesses and SMEs globally,” said IPA chief executive officer, Prof Andrew Conway.
“The Centre’s work will deliver applied research in relation to SMEs with expanded reference to the growth of SMEs and their respective trade links globally. Already the Centre is actively engaged with academics in the UK to focus on that market.
“This will be important in light of the impact of Brexit on the economy and business in general and particularly in considering trade and investment while the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the UK, Australia and the EU are ongoing,” said Prof Conway.
Professor Mike Ewing, Executive Dean of the Deakin University Business School said the partnership with the IPA was pivotal to delivering genuine outcomes for the SME sector.
“We have already achieved great outcomes, including the Australian Small Business White Paper, however, ongoing momentum is required to drive successful policy that would enhance the productivity of small businesses and SMEs,” said Prof Ewing.