The Victorian government has announced a AU$5 million grant program to help small to medium-sized business (SMB) invest specifically in projects aimed at lifting their technology capabilities.
Under the Technology Adoption and Innovation program, businesses can apply for grants of up to AU$50,000 under one of two funding streams.
The first allows SMBs to partner with a technology provider to implement new technology platforms, including a new e-commerce system, artificial intelligence or machine learning processes, data analytics, robotics, or cybersecurity technology.
The second stream is to help companies developing new technology products and services, such as in areas of micro or nanotechnology, software for business-to-business messaging, fintech applications, healthcare equipment, and retail technology.
Applicants will also be required to contribute a minimum of AU$20,000 towards the total cost of the projects, the state government said.
“This program will be a catalyst for more Victorian businesses to embark on their own innovative projects, whether they’re implementing technology or developing a new commercial product,” Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said.
In other news from Victoria, the 200th mobile base station was recently switched on in Knowsley, east of Bendigo.
It follows news that an extra 41 stations will be established, with towns such as Ararat, Winchelsea South, and Tarwin Lower set to benefit.
The state government boasted since 2014, it has coughed up AU$56 million to improve the state’s mobile coverage.
In November, the Victorian government pledged it would spend a further AU$300 million through the Digital Future Now initiative to deliver “business-grade broadband” across suburbs and regional towns to enable participation in the “emerging digital economy”. This funding will also be used to eradicate mobile blackspots and improve connectivity in regional Victoria.
“Victorians across the state deserve to have reliable mobile coverage — and we’re delivering. It helps connect residents, support businesses, and attract tourists, allowing local economies grow and thrive,” Pulford said.
“Getting rid of black spots also makes communities much safer when natural disasters like bushfires and floods hit.”