Two new grants programs targeted at startups and small to medium sized businesses have opened in Western Australia, with just over $2.1 million available overall.
The latest rounds of the Local Capability Fund (LCF) opened on Thursday and are worth a collective $2 million while the $125,000 SPUR Location Grants Program opened on June 1. The LCF aims to increase the capacity of local small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) so they can compete for state government contracts.
Five eligible applicants will receive $25,000 each through the SPUR Location Grants based on their proposals for unique uses of Western Australia’s location data. Firms cannot have an annual turnover greater than $1 million per annum. It is being administered by the Western Australian land information authority Landgate.
Four recipients will be awarded through the General Grant category which calls for proposals that will benefit the land sector, for example through digital twinning or building a smart city capability.
The fifth recipient will be awarded through the First Nations Grant category which asks First Nation’s applicants to develop a culturally significant project that also provides value to the land sector. This could be through cultural mapping, on-country programs, or areas of specific interest to Aboriginal-Owned Corporations.
There will also be a number of targeted information session with Landgate and partner government agencies. This will provide access to data and support for six months.
Applications can be submitted here and close on July 31.
Western Australian Lands Minister John Carey said that the SPUR program would help add value to local businesses and the state overall.
“The SPUR Location Grants Program is a fantastic example of how the State Government is supporting innovation, diversifying the economy and creating jobs by assisting local talent to turn their ideas into reality,” Mr Carey said.
“Across the world, we are seeing governments and industry leveraging place-based information to deliver significant value to their economies and communities.
A previous SPUR grant recipient was data analytics and aerial drones startup UXMachines. The firm currently services the agriculture and defence sectors. They previously completed the D.Start Ignite innovation and entrepreneurship program in 2021 run by the Department of Defence.
Founder Artur Lugmayr said that competing for the grant was a good incentive to help motivate the startup.
“The SPUR grant supported us to develop software for our automated aerial drones for agricultural duties. SPUR helped us to help farmers conduct aerial drone missions,” Dr Lugmayr said.
Three rounds of the LCF opened on Thursday. Companies can receive $20,000 through the National and International Standards Compliance round which will remain open until funding is exhausted. This is to help with the costs of attaining third party certifications for several national and international standards.
The Aboriginal Business Round and the Supplying Key Major Projects rounds will award a maximum grant of $50,000 per firm with applications closing on September 21. The latter will boost the ability of SMEs to deliver construction and infrastructure projects.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Roger Cook said that supporting SMEs in the state is crucial to supporting jobs and maintaining industrial capability.
“SMEs make up at least 97 per cent of Western Australian businesses. They play an important role in strengthening the State’s supply chains and supporting the economic growth of Western Australia. The Local Capability Fund has a proven track record of successfully helping SMEs to access the State Government’s estimated $30 billion per annum spend on goods, services and works for the community,” Mr Cook said.
Overall, the LCF has awarded $19 million of funding to more than 520 businesses.
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