The Innovative Regions Centre operates as a central provider of advice and services to firms in regional areas. With funding of $20 million over four years, the Innovative Regions Centre will work in the Geelong region, and other regions around Australia, to increase the innovative capacity of local firms and the regional economies.
The Innovative Regions Centre is headquartered at Deakin University in Geelong. It works closely with the firms, business associations and authorities to develop regional specific strategies to encourage growth and supports projects that focus on developing partnerships, networks and alliances among firms.
As part of the wider Enterprise Connect network, the Innovative Regions Centre also provides businesses with access to specialist advice and services to help improve their business processes, test new products and find new markets.
Enterprise Connect invites eligible organisations from across Australia to submit proposals to a competitive small grants round, closing at 9am Monday 16 March 2009.
Innovative Regions Centre Proposals are welcomed from individual organisations as well as consortia. Eligible proposals can be from community based groups representing the private (including industry groups, clusters and co-operatives) or the public sector (including local government, higher education and research institutions).
Background to Innovative Regions Centre
Proposals must address the Enterprise Connect discretionary grant criteria outlined in the application form. Successful organisations will submit proposals that also clearly articulate:
- The extent to which the project involves and benefits a range of SMEs in the region;
- The extent to which the project encourages links and partnerships between SMEs and universities, training providers, research agencies and other businesses;
- How the project can provide useful learning that can be readily applied to other regions in Australia;
- How the project can build the region’s development capability.
Proposals should be able to be implemented in the immediate to short term. Projects with duration of less than 12 months seeking funding between $50,000 and $75,000 are encouraged. It is expected that projects are supported by matching cash or in-kind resources from the applicant.
Innovative Regions Centre project criteria
- The extent to which the project involves and benefits a range of SMEs in the region.
- The extent to which the project encourages links and partnerships between SMEs and universities, training providers, research agencies and other businesses.
The extent to which the proposed project addressed the following relevant outcomes:
- facilitates the achievement of the Enterprise Connect objectives;
- facilitates the delivery of Enterprise Connect initiative on behalf of the Government/Department;
- contributions to future improvements in the ongoing delivery of the Enterprise Connect initiative;
- leads to improvements in productivity and competitiveness of Australian SMEs;
- links Australian SMEs with sources of expertise and advice relevant to their businesses;
- provides useful knowledge that could be applied across the Enterprise Connect network.
- The extent to which the proposal would involve an efficient, effective and ethical use of the Discretionary Grant.
- The financial viability of the applicant and the proposal.
Consideration will also be given to whether the proposed project will:
- Provide useful learning that can be readily applied to other regions in Australia
- Build the region’s development capability.
Contact Treadstone to know more about Innovative Regions Centre grants.