The Victorian government has launched its $5 million Technology Adoption and Innovation Program to provide individual grants of up to $50,000 for business’ tech projects.
Under the terms of the program, the Victorian government will match contributions on a one-to-one basis from applicants, starting at a minimum of $20,000.
Broadly, the grants are to be split between two streams, with the first for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) to partner with technology providers in order to upgrade their productivity and competitive capabilities.
According to the Victorian government, this can cover the implementation of new e-commerce systems, artificial intelligence or machine learning processes, data analytics, robotics and cyber security technology.
Meanwhile, the second stream is geared towards companies that have a hand in technology development to create new products and services, such as micro or nanotechnology, software for business-to-business messaging, fintech applications, healthcare equipment and retail technology.
“This program will be a catalyst for more Victorian businesses to embark on their own innovative projects, whether they’re implementing technology or developing a new commercial product,” said Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford.
“We’re enabling businesses to capitalise on technology to boost productivity, create new business opportunities and drive economic growth.
“Initiatives developed with support from this program will really cement Victoria’s position as a leading tech hub in the Asia Pacific.”
In addition to providing a minimum of $20,000, eligible businesses must have held an Australian Business Number (ABN) and applied for Goods and Service Tax (GST) since 1 September 2020, and employ between five to 200 full-time equivalent staff.
Furthermore, businesses can only apply for one stream, not both, and their contribution cannot consist of funding from other state or Commonwealth government programs.
Applications for the Technology Adoption and Innovation Program are open from now until 19 April.
The funding for the program is sourced from $121 million allocated towards innovation initiatives in the state government’s budget for the 2020-21 financial year. That budget also saw $626 million allocated to regional digital infrastructure upgrades and technology job reskilling over the next six years as part of its Digital Future Now initiative.