February 28, 2024

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Fostering Innovation in Western Australia

Western Australian-based start-ups and small businesses looking to commercialise their innovative ideas or projects are being invited to apply for grant funding of up to $20,000 through the Government’s Innovation Booster Grant programme.

The Innovation Booster Grant programme (IBG), previously known as the Innovation Voucher Programme, aims to boost innovation for early-stage start-ups and small businesses by providing financial support for professional skills and services to improve capability and advance their activities in WA. The programme provides support in one of four categories including research and development, product development, technology transfer and intellectual property, and commercialisation support services.

The WA government recognises that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are major contributors to the WA innovation ecosystem. One of the major hurdles SMEs face is turning great ideas into commercially viable products. The IBG is designed to assist SMEs in overcoming those obstacles and assist with early funding to achieve commercialisation. The IBG is a competitive State Government grant programme, funded through the New Industries Fund (NIF).

A previous grant recipient received a $20,000 innovation voucher in 2019 to help them develop a robust Intellectual Property (IP) strategy for their autonomous ship-to-shore container cranes project using machine vision technology. With the support of the grant, the company secured a $1.3 million funding grant as it demonstrated their IP strength and solid partnerships and also contributed to nearly doubling their workforce to 12 employees.

The Innovation and ICT Minister stated that the Innovation Booster Grant is a key part of the McGowan Government’s Diversify WA strategy, to diversify our economy and create new jobs. These grants play an important role in the commercialisation journey, from idea to commercialisation and are supported by the McGowan Government’s New Industries Fund (NIF). He noted that the Government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund’s central purpose is to support and accelerate new and emerging businesses across all sectors and regions in WA. The Minister encouraged all businesses and start-ups to apply for a grant and realise their immense potential in turning innovation into successful enterprises that enhance and grow the WA economy.

The Innovation Booster Grant is designed to provide start-ups or SMEs with the financial boost they need to access professional skills, services or knowledge, enabling them to advance their innovative idea, project or commercial activity in Western Australia. The WA government appreciates that start-ups and small businesses have great ideas, but that taking these ideas and turning them into new and sustainable business opportunities with real commercial outcomes can be difficult.

The programme is designed to assist innovators to overcome some of the barriers on the path to commercialisation. It aims to catalyse new relationships between innovators, research providers and specialist commercialisation support services, or to move tentative collaborations into a productive relationship.

Under the New Industries Fund, the Innovation Booster Grant objectives are to:

  • Stimulate the WA start-up and small business sectors by supporting innovative projects and initiatives
  • Decrease the commercialisation gap
  • Activate industry-government-research collaborations
  • Increase research and development (R&D) investment into WA
  • Promote job creation and economic diversification in WA

The purpose of the Innovation Booster Grant is to:

  • help develop new or enhanced commercially-ready products or services
  • establish a minimum viable product (MVP), prototype(s), processes or systems that might attract additional investment and/or customers; and/or
  • address a particular technical problem that cannot be solved by the applicant, or for which the solution is not readily available.


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