University of Wollongong's Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings met senior politicians in Canberra yesterday to showcase a new report outlining the university's economic contribution to the region.
The report, which shows that the university contributes more than $2 billion in economic activity nationally each year, should help its bid to become one of 10 innovation precincts recently announced by the government.
It may also help win more funding, with its findings that every $1 in federal government investment in the university in 2011 resulted in $7 in overall economic output.
However Professor Wellings said the trip to Canberra to meet senior MPs from both sides of politics was not a bid for funding but an opportunity to showcase several activities at the university.
"This includes the strategic planning structure we are putting into place; the economic footprint analysis and the global challenges program we have launched to show where our research is going," he said.
However, he did confirm that the university, along with industry, was putting in a bid for one of the innovation precincts to be established under the federal government's $1 billion Innovation and Industry Statement A Plan for Australian Jobs.
"The budget in May will confirm that the federal funds are available to allocate to these activities and by July we should start to see some of the winning proposals come together," Prof Wellings said.
"I think it's a competitive process because we can make an argument for a dozen locations around the country that have got major assets that could be put together.
"There's a beauty contest we have to win and I think we are pretty beautiful ... and we have a whole range of assets we can put together in a bid."
Prof Wellings yesterday met with Cunningham MP Sharon Bird, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills.
Ms Bird said the university's economic report would help support the bid for an innovation precinct.
She said there was no doubt it would be very competitive to get one of the precincts, and she had been working with Throsby MP Stephen Jones on the bid.