Victorian Government pumps $40 million into SME innovation

The Victorian Government will invest $40 million in a new program designed to help small and medium companies commercialise new technology.

The Victorian Government will invest $40 million in a new program designed to help small and medium companies commercialise new technology.

The Boosting Highly Innovative SMEs (BHIS) program is part of a $300 million innovation package announced yesterday, which also includes $145 million to establish the new Victorian Science Agenda Investment fund for competitive innovation, science and technology grants.

“Victoria really is the innovation capital of Australia,” Victorian Premier John Brumby told reporters. “If you look at what we’re doing in terms of medical research, if you look at research and development, the Synchrotron, Bio21, the National Stem Cell Centre, innovation is very much the heart of our new economy, and it’s a major driver of jobs into the future.”

The BHIS iniative is specifically aimed at small and medium technology companies and is designed to give them the tools and resources to commercialise their ideas by providing them assistance in the areas of assembling management capability, developing marketing skills, accessing finance and cultivating networks.

There are two parts to the initiative.

The $12 million Technology Commercialisation Program will provide resources to support fast growth technology SMEs by “reducing the time and resources needed to bring technology to global markets”.

The $28 million Market Validation Program is designed to support technology companies who develop products to meet specific Victorian Government technology needs. It will involve the creation of the Small Business Innovation Research Fund to fund feasibility studies and research and development for companies that join the program.

The Victorian Government says the $300 million innovation package takes its total innovation spend for the year to $1 billion, after announcing over $700 million of initiatives in the state budget.

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