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Federation University awarded funding to extend research for the Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence (Western BACE)

26 August 2014

Federation University’s Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI, formerly CeCC) has received funding to continue research activities alongside the Western Business Accelerator and Centre for Excellence (Western BACE).

Currently under construction in Melton South, the Western BACE will become an innovative, multi-function Centre offering a range of  training opportunities and business accelerator activities to support local jobs and business growth for residents in Melbourne’s West.

Funded through the Commonwealth Department of Environment’s Suburban Jobs Program, Western BACE is one of only three projects to be funded nationally.

Since early 2013, Federation University together with research partner organisations Victoria University and Melton City Council have conducted research complementing the project’s key stages of development, from planning and design, to construction, and shortly, operation.  The recent funding extension will enable further research to be conducted into business innovation and growth, employment, and community infrastructure and development associated with the project.  

Funding through this project has also enabled colleagues from across Federation University to be involved in the research.  Following an invitation extended to Federation University staff earlier this year, Federation University’s Dr Samantha Hettihewa from the Faculty of Business has been awarded funding to conduct a pilot project examining economic powerhouse industries and business in City of Melton, and associated with the Western BACE project.

Another exciting research initiative associated with the Western BACE project is the commencement of a PhD student at Federation University to undertake longitudinal research associated with the Western BACE. Funding for a PhD scholarship has been committed through the project, and matched with the support of Federation University. Invitations to apply for the scholarship will be advertised later in 2014.

The Western BACE will be operational by early/mid 2015.

For more information see:


Further information about this project can be obtained from:

Dr. Helen Thompson, Director, CeRDI; email:;  

Dr Samantha Hettihewa, Federation Business School; email:

Alison Ollerenshaw, Research Fellow, CeRDI; email:


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