An ongoing state government program providing grants to startups and small businesses to commercialise their ideas has opened for this year.
The Innovation Booster Grants (IBG) – previously known as the Innovation Voucher Program – offers recipients up to $20,000 in financial support for professional skills and services that improve capability and advance their activities – such as building prototypes and perhaps even getting a patent.
The support must be used in one of four categories; research and development, product development, technology transfer and intellectual property, and commercialisation support services.
Funded through the New Industries Fund (NIF), the IBG is a highly competitive grant – last year saw 21 companies receive grants, with 36 given out during 2020, with the deadline having been delayed due to the initial wave of Covid.
Recipients are required to make a 20% co-contribution plus GST. The announcement comes as the state government launched a new $100 million fund last week to encourage investment that diversifies the WA economy.
The obstacle between idea and commercialisation
It is well known that one of the major hurdles for startups is turning great ideas into a product that is commercially viable – with many lurking around the Valley of Death during this time. The state government says the IBG overcomes this obstacle.
Previous recipients include AMLab who received a $20,000 innovation voucher in 2019 to assist in the development of an Intellectual Property (IP) strategy for their autonomous ship-to-shore container cranes project that uses machine vision technology.
Thanks to the grant, AMLab was able to raise $1.3 million in funding. On top of this, their workforce doubled to 12 employees.
“These grants play an important role in the commercialisation journey, from idea to commercialisation and are supported by the McGowan Government’s New Industries Fund (NIF),” said Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson.
“The McGowan Government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund’s central purpose is to support and accelerate new and emerging businesses across all sectors and regions in WA.
I encourage all businesses and startups to apply for a grant and realise their immense potential in turning innovation into successful enterprises that enhance and grow the WA economy.Stephen Dawson, Innovation and ICT Minister
How do I apply for a grant?
Applications are now open, and close at 11am on April 20, 2022.
This Wednesday, Morning Startup will be hosting a free Zoom event where the new Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) Director of Innovation, Charlie Gunningham (that name rings a bell…), will discuss who is eligible, how to apply, and most critically how the panel – all external industry experts – will judge applications.
His slide presentation with voice over can be viewed below:
Charlie Gunningham was managing editor of Startup News from 2018 to 2021.