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NBN the golden ticket for Victorian industry

by Paris Cowan •
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ICT companies developing products with an NBN-enabled Australia in mind will benefit from opportunities being created in Victoria, where the Government has just launched the second round of its Collaborative Internet Innovation Fund (cIIF) program.

This round of the competitive grants program will focus on “Applications in an NBN world”, and aims to encourage the commercial development of projects which make the most of the increased capacity that the National Broadband network will offer.

“As with all shifts in technologies, there will be a process of adapting and learning about how these new tools and capabilities can be best put to productive use,” the program guidelines explain.

“cIIF will support leaders in Victoria to take a step-change now and ‘learn by doing’. The program will build capability for ICT-enabled innovation in the State, and generate information and models to support more widespread adoption of new technologies.”

Grants of up to $500,000 are on offer to non-government enterprises that can convince the program selection panel that they offer technologies that are dependent on NBN characteristics such as: (a) the NBN’s ubiquitous nature and (b) high-bandwidth. A total of $1.5 million is available to industry, and another $3.5 million for Government projects.

Expressions of interest can be lodged with the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD) up until Friday 3 December 2010.

The criteria for the cIIF program is in keeping with the advice offered by Intermedium Senior Associate Murray Harrison to delegates attending the ICT Signposts post-election briefing in Canberra on 30 September.

Harrison said attendees should make explicit the relevance of their products and services to a high-speed NBN facilitated broadband environment in their dialogue with government agencies.

Also in Victoria, the Brumby Government has invested $8 million into the Smart SMEs Innovation Commercialisation Program.The program is open to small and medium companies, and provides funding to assist these companies to take their products to national and international markets.

Technologies that can be applied to the water and pharmaceuticals industries are of particular interest to the scheme’s organisers.

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  • VIC
  • Telecommunications
  • Infrastructure
  • cIIF
  • Murray Harrison
  • NBN