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Innovation Booster Grant doubles to $40K

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// // Many changes to the popular grant program were announced during today's Morning Startup...

Startups and small businesses are now invited to apply for the Innovation Booster Grant (IBG).

First launched in 2011 and funded by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) via the New Industries Fund, the popular grant program is designed to assist innovators in overcoming commercialisation barriers.

Since its launch, around $3.7 million has been awarded across 233 grants. 34 were distributed last year, to the tune of $643,872.

25 grants will be awarded; at least five to life science-related projects with the remaining 20 industry agnostic.

In a significant boost for businesses, the maximum grant available to applicants in 2023 has doubled from $20,000 to $40,000.

The competitive grants require a net cash co-contribution of at least 20:80 applicant to WA state government funding. So, a $50,000 project would entail the recipient providing a minimum $10,000 in cash to supplement a grant of $40,000.

Unlike previous years, the grant doesn’t need to be spent directly on a service provider; it can be spent on any innovative project, as long as it is related to research and development, product development, technology transfer and intellectual property or commercialisation support services. It cannot be spent on ‘normal’ business activities such as wages for example.

In another major change, applicants can receive half of the grant upfront. Previously businesses were reimbursed in full after collaborating with service providers. This move especially helps what are often tightly-strapped early stage startups with their cash flow.

JTSI Innovation Director Charlie Gunningham launched the program during today’s Morning Startup, which was attended by a full crowd. The recording of this livestream – which is sponsored by JTSI – can be watched via this link.

The JTSI website has a list of previous recipients and their projects, as does the recently launched Dealroom platform.

Past winner hitting goals

 A previous medtech recipient, Neurotologix, used their 2020 grant to develop an intellectual property strategy.

Since then it has developed a low-cost remote patient monitoring system which has proven potential to revolutionise how vertigo and dizziness are diagnosed – something that impacts more than 2.9 million Australians annually, resulting in 350,000 medical appointments.

Last year, Neurotologix won the overall WA Innovator of the Year 2022 award, which came with a $70,000 cash prize

Innovation Minister Stephen Dawson, who was recently interviewed on the Startup West podcast by Danelle Cross and Brodie McCulloch, noted that one of the hardest parts for companies focused on innovation is the process to transition ideas into commercial products.

“We are excited to be doubling the grant size this year,” the Minister said.  

We know that supporting our local innovators is key to unlocking the jobs of the future for Western Australians, and the diversification of the State’s economy.

Stephen Dawson, Innovation Minister

“Our new and emerging innovators and startups are encouraged to apply for the 2023 round of Innovation Booster Grants to support their journey to commercialisation.”

Applications are now open, and will close on 15 March at 11am.

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