The Victorian Government has unveiled the $8 million Technology Voucher Program in a bid to drive the use of cutting-edge technologies, offering vouchers worth up to $250,000.
The program, announced by Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips, is separate but complementary to the government’s Innovation Voucher Program, which is aimed at SMEs.
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The Technology Voucher Program, which replaces and expands on the Small Technologies Industry Uptake Program (STIUP), is aimed at organisations in the technology sector.
It will help companies adopt and develop new technologies by providing a voucher that can be exchanged for access to facilities, goods, services, advice or expertise.
The program targets the development, adoption and integration of industrial biotechnology, nano and micro-scale technologies, and advanced information and communication technology.
According to Rich-Phillips, the program will ensure innovative companies have timely access to the necessary technology expertise at crucial points of product development.
“A key advantage of the voucher system is its ability to respond to the research requirements of business in a timeframe that suits them,” Rich-Phillips said in a statement.
“Businesses can apply for support at any time during the year and, if successful, will be able to commence work with their service provider of choice within one month.”
“It brings together converging technology fields, and brokers new linkages between businesses and Victoria’s world-class technology infrastructure and know-how.”
The program is part of a $150 million initiative titled Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future, which promotes technology-enabled innovation across the state’s economy.
It will run for two years, and there are three types of vouchers available. They are as follows:
1. $10,000 Technology Student Accelerator Voucher
This voucher can be used to undertake an ICT development project with a Victorian university using one or more students during the vacation period.
The voucher could be used for the evaluation of processes or product design, solution architecture, or product testing, validating, prototyping, certifying and demonstration.
2. $50,000 Technology Development Voucher
This voucher can be used to undertake technology development and/or absorption activities.
It’s worth noting this voucher is open to Victorian and non-Victorian businesses.
However, non-Victorian businesses must undertake the project with a Victorian supplier, and demonstrate benefits likely to flow to Victoria as a result of the project.
3. $250,000 Technology Implementation Voucher
This voucher can be used to undertake substantial testing or applied development activities in order to adapt existing technology-based innovations into new markets or within new markets.
Like the Technology Development voucher, this voucher is open to all businesses, but non-Victorian businesses must meet the aforementioned requirements.