A mobile X-ray machine and a HIV diagnostic test are among the latest recipients of the Small Technologies Industry Uptake Program, which includes up to $250,000 in goods and services.
The program, developed by the Victorian Government, is designed to help businesses increase their competitiveness by using small technologies in their products, processes and services.
It provides support through a voucher system, whereby vouchers can be exchanged for access to facilities, goods, services, advice or expertise.
There are three types of vouchers available, including the Small Technologies Trial (STTrial) voucher, which has a maximum value of $250,000.
This voucher is used for prototype development, pilot scale trials, or improvements to existing products or processes through the adoption or integration of small technologies.
Other voucher types are the Small Technologies Feasibility (STFeas) voucher – used for small fee-based services up to $10,000 – and the Small Technologies Technical (STTech) voucher.
This voucher can be used for more substantial micro or nanotechnology-based development activities, and has a maximum value of $50,000.
The latest recipients of the trial vouchers are:
- Micro-X – Micro-X aims to develop a mobile X-ray machine that can be brought to a hospital patient’s bedside, with potential new applications in veterinary and mobile medical fields.
- Nufarm –Nufarm aims to develop next-generation agriculture products with improved shelf life, and lower production costs, using an advanced polymerisation process developed by the CSIRO.
- SeeD4 – SeeD4 aims to develop a rapid, low-cost diagnostic test that will allow for more efficient treatment and management of the HIV virus globally.
A cartridge and reader will be developed to accurately test for CD4 cells, which are the biomarker cells used by doctors to decide when to begin treatment during HIV infection.
According to Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips, these projects demonstrate how Victorian businesses are constantly improving in order to be more competitive in a global arena.
The program gives businesses an opportunity to develop more efficient production techniques and new, high-value products, Rich-Phillips said in a statement.
“There is keen interest within industry to adopt new technologies and boost productivity, particularly within the manufacturing sector,” he said.
“So far, around 70 feasibility, technical and trial vouchers – providing varying amounts of financial support – have been provided since the STIUP program began.”
Voucher recipients are required to make a minimum 25% matching contribution to the project. If the company turnover is less than $1 million, the matching contribution can be all in-kind.
If company turnover is between $1 million and $10 million, matching funds must be a minimum 10% cash contribution and up to 15% in-kind.
Voucher recipients must complete the activities within 12 months from the date of issue of STFeas and STTech vouchers, and within two years for the STTrial vouchers.