$500,000 fund to promote tech collaborations between Victoria and Israel

Victorian businesses or research organisations seeking collaborations with partners in Israel will be one step closer today, with the announcement of grants of up to $50,000 as part of the Victoria Israel Feasibility and Proof of Concept (VISFPC) grants.

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced the call for applications and said the grants provide an outstanding opportunity for Victorian businesses and research institutions to collaborate with organisations in Israel to demonstrate new applications of technology.

“Victoria and Israel are both internationally recognised for the quality of their research and innovation,” Ms Asher said.

“Through the Victoria Israel Feasibility and Proof of Concept grants our two countries can now collaborate on new projects that can lead to benefits in both Victoria and Israel.

Applications are now open for grants of up to $50,000.

“The Napthine Government is being responsive to the needs of business, promoting flexibility and enabling them to apply for funding when it is required,” Ms Asher said.

Grants will be open to Victorian based companies and research institutions who have secured a collaborating partner based in Israel.

The Coalition Government seeks to work with Victorian organisations and MATIMOP, the executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of the Israeli Ministry of Economy, to assist with partner matching to support both the Feasibility and Proof of Concept grants and the VISTECH program that will be formally opened in early 2014. It is expected that some of the VISFPC projects will progress into the VISTECH program.

Ms Asher said that the VISFPC grants form part of the larger Victoria Israel Science Innovation and Technology Scheme (VISITS) that was launched in May this year.

“VISITS represent part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to stimulating science and technology innovation and research in Victoria, and the recognition that Israel is an important potential partner,” Ms Asher said.

VISITS provides funds to Victorian businesses and research organisations for recognised trade missions, conferences and meetings in Israel; to develop, test or commercialise new services or products; or create new global market opportunities, in partnership with Israeli companies.

Israeli Trade Minister Naftali Bennett was in Melbourne today and attended an Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) lunch with David Southwick MP (Member for Caulfield).

“The feasibility study grants provide Victorian businesses the opportunity to collaborate with Israeli partners and to test innovative ideas that potentially benefit our two great economies,” Mr Southwick said.

“It was an honour to have Minister Bennett visit Victoria and meet with business leaders at the AICC lunch.”

Applications opened on Friday 6 December 2013 and will remain open until the funding is fully committed. For further information on Victoria Israel Feasibility and Proof of Concept grants visit www.business.vic.gov.au/visits

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