Tassie IT startups to share in $18m funding

Tasmanian IT startups have been given a green light to clamour for $18 million in funding made available from the $40 million Intelligent Island program.

The federal and Tasmanian governments will also begin negotiations with CSIRO to establish a $30 million ICT centre in the state.

ICT minister Senator Helen Coonan said the Market Access and Partnership Program (MAPP) and the $30 million CSIRO Tasmanian ICT Innovation Centre will benefit both the Tasmanian ICT industry and the wider Tasmanian economy.

"MAPP will support ICT product development, encourage partnerships for businesses development, provide companies with opportunities to access business and management skills and increase access to external markets," Coonan said.

Tasmanian ICT companies are now invited to submit an expression of interest for MAPP.

Tasmanian deputy premier Bryan Green said up to $18 million is available to assist Tasmanian ICT companies develop or market an ICT product or service for global markets.

Eligible companies will be able to compete for grants from between $200,000 and $2 million. A portion of the funding is also available for projects that will benefit the Tasmanian ICT industry as a whole.

"All grants will be assessed by an independent, industry-based panel with expertise in technology, finance, management and commercialization," Green said.

The proposed CSIRO ICT Centre will be jointly funded with $15 million from the Intelligent Island program and $15 million in cash and in-kind contribution from CSIRO, but funding is subject to the successful negotiation of a funding agreement.

"CSIRO's ICT Centre will be a world-class research facility connecting Tasmania to national and international ICT research and development," Coonan said.

Tasmanian companies interested in applying for MAPP funding should visit www.development.tas.gov.au/intelligent/MAPP. Expressions of interest close June 21.

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