29 September 2010

Victorian Government to Support Uptake of Small Technologies

According to the Small Technologies Cluster (STC), the term "small technologies" refers to "a convergent technology underpinned by nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, microtechnology and advanced engineering technologies."

The Victorian Government today announced the launch of the first round of the Small Technologies Industry Uptake Program (STIUP) which was a key part of the $10.5 million Victorian Action Plan for Small Technologies.

The program is intended to support businesses in accessing facilities, goods, services and advice to help them include small technologies in their products, processes and services.  The resources available in Victoria include the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, the Australian Synchrotron and MiniFab as well as facilities and institutions such as the CSIRO and universities.

The STIUP funds provide successful applicants with a voucher that can be exchanged for equivalent value of goods or services from approved suppliers.  Currently, there are three categories of voucher, as described below.

Small Technologies Feasibility (STFeas) Voucher
Value: up to $10,000.00.
Purpose: small fee-based services such as prior art searches, demonstration of coatings, preliminary testing, marketing studies, and consulting services to evaluate feasibility of micro and nano fabrication processes.

Small Technologies Technical (STTech) Voucher
Value: up to $50,000.00.
Purpose: substantial micro or nanotechnology based development activity such as assistance for small scale product prototyping, laboratory verification, field testing and fabrication of small technology demonstrators.

Small Technologies Trial (STTrial) Voucher
Value: up to $250,000.00
Purpose: trial of existing small technology based innovations which can improve the competitiveness of businesses belonging to a priority Victorian industry, or improve services which are provided for the benefit of Victorians.

STTrial voucher applications close on 11 November 2010, while STFeas and STTech voucher applications are open until June 2013.

Further information and application forms are available from the Business Victoria website.

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