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Government Funding to Support State’s Best Emerging Innovators in Western Australia

The Government of Western Australia has awarded $385,000 to innovators across the State to help commercialise their ideas and create new jobs. A total of 21 start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded up to Au$ 20,000 each through the Innovation Vouchers Program, which aims to assist Western Australian innovators.

The program rewards exceptional Western Australians who have developed innovative products, technologies or services by providing funding to access professional skills, services or commercial knowledge. Vouchers are awarded in four categories – Research and Development, Product Development, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, and Commercialisation Support Services.

First launched in 2011, the Innovation Vouchers Program is now part of the State Government’s Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund to attract investment and promote the economic diversification of WA.

Since the launch of the program, the State Government has awarded 199 vouchers worth approximately AU$ 3.7 million to promising early-stage businesses through the Innovation Vouchers Program. Many previous voucher winners have since grown exponentially, expanded into international markets and built local workforces in WA.

Applications were received from across the state and this year’s recipients include several innovative ideas with a transformative social impact. One recipient of this year’s program is a medical device that helps ventilate children’s middle ears as they swallow, designed to provide non-invasive treatment for children suffering from Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), commonly known as glue ear. The technology has the potential to avoid the need for surgery and reduce developmental delay caused by hearing difficulties, addressing an unmet clinical need with an innovative solution.

The Belmont MLA stated that the medical device is such an innovative product with life-changing potential for children with glue ears and it is exciting to have the manufacturing and engineering capacity to produce the device here locally in Belmont.

The Innovation Vouchers Program assists WA innovators to continue commercialising their products and creating local jobs – and I am delighted to see Belmont-based business the medical device is set to receive an AU$ 20,000 voucher through the latest round of this program.

The medical device was engineered and is now being manufactured locally by a local tech company in Belmont, demonstrating the local job-creating power of home-grown innovations supported through the McGowan Government’s Innovation Vouchers Program. The medical device will use the $20,000 voucher funding for registering its intellectual property.

The Innovation and ICT Minister of WA stated that innovation is key to diversifying the State economy and the WA Government is committed to assisting growing businesses to help turn ideas into reality. In the first ten years of the Innovation Vouchers program, the Government has funded 199 start-ups and SMEs by providing an estimated $3.7 million to help them grow, flourish and succeed.

The Minister also congratulated the 2021 Innovation Vouchers Program recipients and wished them success in using the funding to create a business that brings jobs to Western Australia. As both Minister for Innovation and Minister for Disability Services, he said it was good to see innovators using technology to provide greater choice and control to people with disabilities on this year’s list of recipients.

About the Innovation Vouchers Program

The Innovation Vouchers Program is an initiative of the WA Government’s New Industries Fund, which assists start-ups and small businesses to commercialise their ideas and innovations and expand to create jobs. Applications for the 2021 round are now closed.

Under the New Industries Fund, the Innovation Vouchers Program objectives are:

  • Stimulate the WA start-up and small business sectors by supporting innovation 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 Vouchers Program is to:

  • help develop new or enhanced commercially-ready products or services
  • establish prototypes, processes or systems to attract additional investment
  • 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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