The Victorian Government has opened applications for funding of up to $250,000 for the state’s small businesses to trial and develop productivity-boosting technology.
The Small Technologies Trial Vouchers scheme will fund prototypes at trial stage or improve upon the processes of existing technology.
The program, which will accept applications until November 18, is part of a $10 million government package aimed at boosting Victoria’s technology sector.
To help develop or commercialise products, the scheme works by providing eligible businesses with vouchers, which they can exchange for access to facilities, goods, services or advice.
Voucher values range from $10,000 for marketing or consulting services, up to a maximum of $250,000 for pilot schemes or prototype development.
Businesses with turnover of less than $1 million have to match 25% of the voucher cost in kind. Turnovers larger than this require cash up front.
Funding for the scheme is strictly controlled – businesses can’t use the vouchers for costs such as business plans, sales promotions or intellectual property.
Gordon Rich-Phillips, Victoria’s Technology Minister, says: “Our vision for the future is to bring together the transformative power of the major technology platforms – biotechnology, ICT and small technologies – to unleash greater innovation and wider economic benefits.”
“In the future, we expect to see small technologies have an impact on almost every industry in Victoria, improving the functionality of products, improving energy efficiency in manufacturing, reducing costs and enabling more efficient use of resources.”
“It is this approach which will not only propel results within the technologies sector but also enable growth, productivity and competitiveness in other industries.”