The Victorian Government is making it easier for businesses to gain access to advice that will enable them to improve productivity through innovation.
A new $5 million Innovation Voucher Program will provide eligible businesses with ‘vouchers’ which can be exchanged for access to facilities, training, services or expertise from a publicly funded research institution or an approved private provider.
Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, Louise Asher, has launched the new program that aims to provide a fast and effective way for Victorian businesses to access the research skills they need to develop and test ideas.
“The program will deliver a double dividend to Victorian businesses by supporting companies that want to innovate as well as the Victorian suppliers with the know-how to assist.
“Victoria has world-class research institutions and this program encourages further engagement between researchers and industry to improve the efficiencies of Victorian businesses and help them compete on a global scale.
“Through the Innovation Voucher Program, the Coalition Government aims to make this knowledge-sharing process easier. Vouchers will provide a quick and effective method for Victorian companies to access this knowledge.”
Business Victoria revealed two streams of vouchers are available:
- Business Research and Development (R&D) Vouchers (up to $25,000) – to be used by businesses seeking to start undertaking R&D or to increase their R&D presence in Victoria. Local and international companies can use the vouchers to access R&D expertise from Victorian suppliers.
- Innovation Skills Vouchers (up to $10,000) – to be used by Victorian businesses to increase their skills in order to innovate (such as IP knowledge management, technology road-mapping and commercialisation and translation skills).
“The Innovation Voucher Program will also position Victorian companies to better access the Commonwealth Government’s R&D tax incentive,” Ms Asher said.
Applications are now open for companies to access Business R&D vouchers and for potential suppliers of vouchers to register their interest.
The Innovation Voucher Program will be delivered in partnership with university sector partner UniGateway and complements the Victorian Government’s Technology Voucher Program announced in September 2012 which assists Victorian companies to develop or integrate new technologies.
For further information about the Innovation Voucher Program visit www.business.vic.gov.au/ivp