The first round of the Australian Government’s Industry Collaboration Fund (ICF) is set to open on the 1st ofJuly, according to a media release from Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet.
The ICF Program is only available to the Precincts established under the Industry Innovation Precincts Program, an initiative established under the Gillard Government’s $1 billion Plan for Australian Jobs.
Funding rounds are expected to be held twice a year.
The Innovation Precincts for the Food and Manufacturing sectors will be the first precincts to operate beginning this July and both are qualified to apply for funding in Round 1 of the ICF Program.
Applications for the first round will close on July 12.
$130 million will be allocated for the Fund and grants will range from $100,000 to $10 million, with an annual investment of up to $50 million a year by 2016-17.
Mr. Combet said the ICF Program will “facilitate new collaborations and support projects that benefit from market, technology and supply chain opportunities.”
“Projects supported under the Industry Collaboration Fund Program will have potential to generate significant benefits, innovative practices and develop world-class commercial activity,” said Mr. Combet.
Up to eight remaining precincts will be selected from industry-led proposals and applications for Stage 1 of the competitive two-stage selection process are now closed. These precincts will be eligible to apply in the succeeding rounds of the ICF Program.
The Innovation Industry Precincts Program aims to support various Australian industries to win new business abroad and help local businesses benefit from the economic opportunities emerging from growing demand in international markets, especially in Asia.
More than half a billion dollars will be invested by the Gillard Government to build Industry Innovation Precincts throughout the country.
Last May the Board for the Food Industry Precinct was announced, with Mr, Peter Schutz sitting as chairman. The announcement of the Food Precinct board is part of the National Food Plan and includes representatives from food manufacturers, research organizations, industry associations, unions and experts from the skills development sector.
Meanwhile the Board for the Manufacturing Precinct was announced on June 13 and is chaired by Mr. Albert Goller, the former Managing Director and Chair of Siemens Australia and New Zealand.
Both Food and Manufacturing Industry Innovation Precincts are located in Melbourne.