The Victorian government Minister for Manufacturing, David Hodgett, has announced a $544,000 grant to the Geelong-based Australian Sports Technology Network (ASTN) to help grow Victoria’s emerging sports technology industry.
“This MPN grant will help the ASTN deliver the innovative $1.088 million Victorian Sports Manufacturing Export Development Program,” Hodgett said in a statement.
The grant was made under the Napthine government’s Manufacturing Productivity Networks program which supports networks, manufacturers and research institutions to collaborate, improving the productivity and competitiveness of Victorian manufacturers.
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“This grant will support the state’s sports technology manufacturers to tap into the expertise of research institutions and business experts so they can better take advantage of the opportunities the $300 billion global sports technology market presents,” Hodgett said.
“More than 65% of Australia’s sports technology industry is based in Victoria and the Victorian Sports Manufacturing Export Development Program will see the state’s growing number of companies involved in the industry work with universities and research centres on globally-competitive product innovations, and help them to find new export markets.”
South Barwon state MP Andrew Katos said the grant is great news for business in the Geelong region.
“The sports manufacturing technology industry is fast growing and has a strong presence in the Geelong area,” Katos said.
Hodgett said the Victorian Sports Manufacturing Export Development Program will deliver a range of activities over the next three years to cater for various levels of export readiness.
“This includes an innovation and commercialisation initiative that will see companies work directly with sports engineering and innovation research centres and the commercial research arms of at least six Victorian-based universities to identify and promote commercialisation of manufacturing technologies into sports product markets,” Hodgett said.
Under the Manufacturing Productivity Network program, Victorian manufacturing networks can receive up to $50,000 to support collaborative information, planning and scoping activities, or up to $600,000 to support significant network projects.
“To date, we have awarded $7.3 million to 42 manufacturing networks under our MPN program to support them to establish collaborative initiatives to help grow their domestic and international trade, which has assisted more 1120 companies,” he said.
“Today’s announcement adds to our support of the ASTN, which includes an earlier $50,000 MPN grant for an Advisory and Mentoring Program and our partnership in ASTN’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program with its business incubator, Headstart Accelerator, and the ICT Geelong Network.