New Grants


Round 2 of the Victorian Government’s Driving Business Innovation program is now open for eligible Victorian SMEs to propose solutions to government Technology Challenges for $75k feasibility studies and possible $1m proof of concept. See the 11 technology challenges presented below for Round 2.

The Round 2 Call for Proposal stage closes on Thursday, 16 October 2014. 

Expert Grant writing assistance

Treadstone provides grant writing assistance for SME’s looking to apply for grants.   Don’t leave it till the last minute to put your application in. Ask the experts. Contact us now for a confidential discussion about your DBI application (03) 9008 5937 or email us.



Collaboration is encouraged in the Driving Business Innovation program. If you provide services you would like to offer on any of the Technology Challenges you can register your details here.

Details of interested collaborators will be published on the relevant Technology Challenge page, for applicant SMEs to contact.


DBI Grant funding available

Driving Business Innovation involves a four-staged approach to the development of a solution to a technology need identified by a Victorian government agency.

1.Technology Challenge

At the Technology Challenge stage Victorian government agencies identify a particular challenge to the delivery of their products or services. These Technology Challenges are then released to the market through a Call for Proposal inviting the SMEs to propose new technology solutions to the government challenges. (Round 2 now closed)

2. Feasibility Study $75k

Selected SMEs receive a grant up to $75,000 to undertake a Feasibility Study into their proposed solution over three months.

3. Proof of Concept $1m

Feasibility Study reports are then assessed for further funding of up to $1 million to undertake research and development to Proof of Concept stage over 18 months.  The Proof of Concept project leads to a working demonstration of the developed product in the government agency’s environment.

4. Market Ready $500k

Following delivery of their Proof of Concept report, SMEs will be invited to submit a Business Plan to be assessed for the Market Ready stage, providing funding of up to $500,000 (matched) to undertake activities aimed at bringing their developed solution to market.


Overview of Grant Program

Driving Business Innovation is a $16 million grants program funded in the 2013 Budget. It is a new program being implemented by the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation at the direction of the Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business.

The program supports Victorian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop new products and services for government customers. It provides SMEs with access to capital (grants funding), customers (government agencies) and collaborators (SME partners).

Under the program, Victorian SMEs with new ideas partner with Victorian Government agencies to co-develop a new technology product or service over a staged development process.

The program provides support at critical stages along the commercial development pathway for a new product or service – from initial ‘concept’ stage into ‘market ready’ technology. Under the program SMEs:

  • prove a concept is technically feasible, build and test a prototype, and design it for manufacture (technical development)
  • analyse the market for the new product/service, develop a robust business model, conduct financial analysis and develop a business plan to bring it to market (commercial development).

The program is based on a ‘demand-led’ model of research and development (R&D). This brings in the customer to provide direct input at the development stage of a new product or service rather than waiting until it reaches the market.

At the end of the program, participating Victorian SMEs will have created and tested a new marketable product or service. Participating Victorian Government agencies will be able to access the new technology to make improvements in their service delivery.


Round 2 Technology Challenges 

Eligible SMEs can apply for one or more of the Technology Challenges listed below:

1.Remote Alert Patient ID (RAPID)

Alfred Health is seeking a hospital ID wristband that has readable reprogrammable chips that allow staff to continually track patient basic vital signs remotely.

2. Smart Movement & Falls Detection Sensor 

Eastern Health is seeking technology that to investigate a falls risk alert for frail hospital patients.

3. Tamper-Proof Number Plates

Victoria Police is seeking an alternative to traditional vehicle number plates that are tamper-proof and tamper-evident.

4. Livestock Data Management

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is seeking an integrated solution that enables real-time, on-farm animal management and business decision-making to improve the productivity and profitability of sheep farming operations.

5. Brine Management Technology

Goulburn Valley Water is seeking technology to remove the saline component of industrial wastewater and groundwater streams and allow the treated water to be reused.

6. Biosolids Resource Recovery

Melbourne Water is seeking a commercially viable method of recovering energy and nutrients from biosolids and creating products that can be sustainably, safely and economically reused.

7. Non-Invasive Treatment of Tinnitus

Austin Health is seeking a non-invasive, cost-effective treatment to reduce the impact of tinnitus.

8. In-Home Management & Rehabilitation Tool

The Royal Children’s Hospital is seeking a rapid and accurate assessment and in-home rehabilitation system for treating children with limb motor impairments.

9. Paediatric Artificial Heart

The Royal Children’s Hospital is seeking an artificial heart to reduce the need for organ transplant in paediatric patients with congenital heart disease.

10. MRI Image Processing Technology

Melbourne Health is seeking a clinical system to assist both radiologists and treating specialists such as neurologists to better diagnose, follow-up and co-ordinate clinical management of patients in a variety of serious conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis.

11. Parkinson’s Disease Management

Melbourne Health is seeking an objective clinical assessment regime that can be used in public hospitals to assess multiple symptoms and allow for optimal treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Supplementary Information

If you have a question regarding this Technology Challenge, please email DSDBI and the Driving Business Innovation team will contact the Host for a response.  Strict probity rules apply during the Call for Proposals stage and applicants or collaborating organisations must not contact the Host agency.

Responses and any other additional information from the Host agency relating to this Technology Challenge will be published in this section on each Technology Challenge page.


Application Assessment

Applications for the Technology Challenge will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • commercial potential – including market potential outside the Victorian Government agency
  • innovative technology – the developed product must be new
  • achievable project – within the budget and timeframe of the program
  • economic impact – including jobs, exports and investment in Victoria
  • strategic alignment – with Victorian Government policy
  • governance arrangements – as set out in the program requirements
  • capability of Victorian Government agency and SME – as set out in the program requirements.

The Technology Challenge stage applications are assessed for selection into the program by an independent panel.

The panel will recommend projects that meet the program assessment criteria to the Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business. The Minister will approve all projects at each program stage.

The Department reserves the right not to proceed with any proposal at any stage of the program, including those that have met the relevant assessment criteria and are deemed compliant.


How to apply

Submit your SME application to address the Call for Proposal 

To maximise the potential success of your application it is important that you directly address the technical and commercial requirements described in the Technology Challenges.

  • Answer all questions and address all requirements.
  • Use concise language.
  • Comply with the word limits.

Please provide the following as attachments:

  • A one-page CV for each key person who will be involved in the project (combined into one attachment).
  • Any other material that may be useful in assessing your proposal.

 If your application is shortlisted you will be invited to present on your proposal to a panel.

If your proposal is selected for a Feasibility Study grant, you will need to provide financial statement for the past three financial years. Please do not attach these with this online application.

For more information visit 


The Round 2 Call for Proposal stage closes on Thursday, 16 October 2014. 

Expert Grant writing assistance

Treadstone provides grant writing assistance for SME’s looking to apply for grants.   Don’t leave it till the last minute to put your application in. Ask the experts. Contact us now for a confidential discussion about your DBI application (03) 9008 5937 or email us.

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