Vic announces $1.1m software accreditation program

The Victorian government has launched a $1.1 million software assistance accreditation program to assist the state's software development industry in gaining CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) Level 2 accreditation.

Through the rebate program, the government will subsidise Victoria's software development industry for the next three and a half years. Specifically, it will fund small and medium-size software development businesses to help them obtain a CMMI Level 2 rating. The grant is capped at $10,000 for each organisation with applications for the grant opening on February 1, 2004.

Developed by the US Software Engineering Institute, CMMI benchmarks business' development practices against international standards.

Victorian Information and Communication Technology Minister Marsha Thomson said today that while "Victoria has a very talented software development industry, without world-recognised accreditation these companies are at a competitive disadvantage."

Thomson said CMMI accreditation would help Victorian businesses grow a $3.1 billion local software development industry, adding: "The program will help ensure [local] development contracts are not lost to overseas companies.

"Accreditation is becoming increasingly important in global contracting. Overseas companies are using it to position themselves as trustworthy providers of world-class outsourcing services."

The Victorian government will fund up to 50 per cent of the costs associated with attaining a CMMI Level 2 rating.

Companies eligible for assistance in getting CMMI accreditation must be headquartered in Victoria or their main place of software development located there; have fewer than 200 staff, and have successfully completed four projects in the last 18 months (a CMMI requirement).

The Victorian Department of ICT said this is the first time an Australian state government has subsidised accreditation for software developers.

This morning Thomson also announced $50,000 state government funding for peak body Software Engineering Australia to build a software quality centre of excellence in Melbourne.

As a result, SEA announced its operations as ESI Centre Australia, the first European Software Institute-accredited centre in the Asia-Pacific.

Details on eligibility and criteria for the grants program will be on the Multimedia Victoria Web site at http://www.mmv.vic.gov.au from February 1, 2004.

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