DIGITAL & INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY GRANTS FOR VICTORIAN SMEs

If you’re a Victorian small to medium enterprise, check this out!  

The Victorian Government has recently released a $5 million Technology Adoption and Innovation Program, offering grants of up to $50,000 to Victorian SMEs.

The grants encourage SMEs to adopt technology or digital solutions to improve their processes and productivity to support their businesses future growth. And after the last year, this financial assistance couldn’t have come at a better time.

You’ll have to be quick, though, as applications close on 19 April 2021 or until funds are exhausted, whichever is earlier.

Here’s what you need to know.

Moreover, as with any government grant, there is always fine print. Some eligibility criteria must be met, however in our opinion; these are pretty straightforward. 

The grants are provided on a co-contribution basis at a ratio of 1:1 for applicant cash contributions and government funding. This means that each successful SME will need to contribute a minimum of $20,000 towards an eligible project expenditure.  

You will also need to pick up the tab on any additional expenses not covered by the scope of the grant too, so ensure you have some extra cash for these costs.

technology adoption and innovation plan for SME

The co-contribution requirement might be a deal-breaker for some businesses struggling to recover after the last year. Still, for those businesses that can access a loan or have a cash reserve; this could be the life-raft you’ve been looking for.

What are the eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria for the Stream 1 program includes –

  • Be an eligible legal entity,
  • Operate a business located within Victoria; and
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 1 September 2020; and
  • Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 1 September 2020; and
  • Employ at least 5 FTE (full-time equivalent) staff at 1 September 2020 (preference will be given to Applicants that employ less than 200 people); and

Attest that they:

  • Can contribute a minimum of $20,000 (GST exclusive) towards eligible project expenditure and match any grant funding on a 1:1 fund basis; and
  • Have met all industrial relations obligations as an employer following the National Employment Standards; and
  • Will participate in future program evaluation activity; and
  • Only apply for funding under either Stream 1 or Stream 2, not both.

So what can you spend the grant on?

As part of the application process, you will be required to make a case on how your project idea will support the program’s objectives and how the grant funds will facilitate the project’s outcomes.

However, you can use the grant to assist you on-board new digital or innovative technologies that will improve your businesses growth; enhance your employment opportunities or improve your ability to deliver goods or services into new markets.

Here are some examples of technologies within Stream 1 that might be beneficial to your business;

  • Adoption of specialised technology or equipment (including software)
  • Introduction of digital tools to manage business systems
  • Digital health and safety solutions
  • Cybersecurity enhancements
  • Introduction of new eCommerce platforms for customers
  • Virtual reality to enhance customer service and experiences
  • Artificial Intelligence or machine learning processes
  • Implementation of data analytical tools to improve insights of customer behaviours.

Be smart, active & innovative

The list of digital technologies available for the grant is quite broad, and most SMEs will benefit from at least one of the available project criteria. As the grants are not only subjected to a submission deadline, they are also allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so this means that if you want to apply, you’ll need to hop to it, so you don’t miss out!

You can view the eligibility criteria and submit an application at

www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/technology-adoption-and-innovation-program#guidelines

Let us help you

However, as part of our services, Enterprise Monkey can work with you to provide you with a comprehensive proposal addressing the key project deliverables, including project descriptions, quotations, implementation timeline overview and Scope of Services.

Our team at Enterprise Monkey are software development specialists with a diverse team ready for any project complexity. We are experienced with supporting SMEs, working within grant application constraints, and ensuring timeline deliverables are met before submission and during the development phase.

If you’ve been thinking about investing in digital technology for your business, then now is the time to take action! This is an excellent opportunity to leverage off the government’s financial support, so you can continue to grow your business and take it to the next level.  

However, If you’re not sure which areas would be the best investment for your business; get in touch with us for a chat, and we can provide you with some free expert advice to get you started.

Contact us today and let us help you achieve your business technology goals.