Victoria-based ICT start-ups are encouraged to apply for the Victorian Government’s $11 million Digital Futures Fund, which offers successful applicants up to $500,000 in funding.The fund is designed to promote the development and diffusion of new ICT capabilities, thus supporting Victoria’s competitive advantage through the productive use of ICT.
Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips says the fund will encourage companies, researchers and end users to develop ICT solutions that address “major business challenges”.
“Under the first round, we are looking to commit a total of between $4 million and $5 million to successful projects,” Rich-Phillips said yesterday.
Eligible projects must involve collaboration between at least two businesses with fewer than 200 employees, and find solutions to shared problems. Preference will be given to applications of strategic importance to Victoria such as data mining and analytics, cloud computing and cyber security.
Through an open, competitive and merit-based process, the Digital Futures Fund will provide financial support to collaborative projects that:
- support the development of new ICT-enabled solutions, products, services and business models;
- assist businesses to use ICT to improve their productivity, drive growth and improve competitiveness; and
- encourage ICT companies, researchers and end users to work together to develop ICT-enabled solutions to address key problems and challenges.
How does the program work?
The Digital Futures Fund has a two stage competitive selection process:
Stage 1: Applicants submit a short Expression of Interest (EoI) outlining essential parameters of their project idea. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to produce a detailed business plan for their project.
Stage 2: Review of Business Plans. Successful applicants will receive funding to implement their project idea, evaluate, report and share learnings and outcomes.
Please download the Digital Futures Fund Fact Sheet (PDF, 441KB, 2 pages) for more information.
What are the funding arrangements?
Stage 1 applicants shortlisted to proceed to Stage 2 may be eligible for Business Plan grants of up to $20,000 to assist them to fully scope and plan their project.
Applicants submitting successful Business Plan proposals will be eligible in Stage 2 to receive project funding of between $50,000 and $500,000 (ex GST).
Successful project partners will be required to provide contributions of cash and/or in-kind.
How can I apply for the fund?
The Digital Futures Fund funding round is currently open. For further information, please download the:
Digital Futures Fund Guidelines (Word, 479KB, 15 pages)
Digital Futures Fund Expression of Interest Application Form (Word, 439KB, 9 pages)
Stage 1 EoI applications close at 2pm on Thursday 12 April 2012. Applicants must complete and submit their EoI using the appropriate application form. Completed applications must be submitted by email to: email@example.com
It is anticipated that applicants will be notified of the outcome of Stage 1 in May 2012. Stage 2 is anticipated to be held in July 2012. Successful projects will be expected to commence no later than 29 October 2012.
Funding round information sessions
The Department is holding public information sessions for interested parties. The sessions will last for approximately one hour with an opportunity for questions and answers at the end.
To register and receive venue information for any of these information sessions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org