The Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD) is to launch a three-year Small Technologies Industry Uptake Program (STIUP) aimed at boosting Victorian business’ capacity to adopt and integrate ‘small technologies’.
The STIUP is aimed at encouraging businesses to explore the use of small technologies to solve problems, enhance existing products or increase their competitiveness and improve access by businesses to small technologies experts and facilities within publicly funded institutions and service providers, according to DIIRD documents.
“Victoria has a strong knowledge, skills and infrastructure base in small technologies in universities, public research institutions, specialist firms, cooperative research centres and major facilities such as the Australian Synchrotron and Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN),” the DIIRD documents read.
“The Industry Uptake Program will capitalise on knowledge and expertise arising from this base into small technology-based solutions for industry, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in domestic and export markets.”
The Melbourne Small Technologies Cluster defines small technologies is a convergent technology underpinned by nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, microtechnology and advanced engineering technologies.
According to the DIIRD, The STIUP will provide support to industry through a voucher-based system which will see three levels of vouchers able to be exchanged for access to specialised facilities or advice and expertise from participating service providers on small technologies.
The Small Technologies Feasibility Voucher (STFeas), valued up to $10,000, will be exchanged for small fee-based services such as preliminary testing, marketing studies, and consulting services.
The Small Technologies Technical Voucher (STTech), valued up to $50,000, will be exchanged for micro or nanotechnology based development activity.
The Small Technologies Technical Trial Voucher (STTrial), valued up to $250,000, will be exchanged for services facilitating the trial of existing small technology based innovations.
“By participating in the program, industry will be able to scope the opportunities that small technologies can bring to their business or undertake small technology-based development activities,” the DIIRD documents read.
The DIIRD is currently tendering for service providers for the management and delivery of the STFeas and STTech aspects of the STIUP.