Victoria’s R&D grants scheme backs first 10 companies

PolyNovo, Quantum Brilliance and SPEE3D are among the first 10 local companies to receive matched funding under the Victorian government’s manufacturing-focused R&D grants scheme.

Jobs and Industry minister Natalie Hutchins named seven of the 10 successful companies under the Made in Victoria – Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund on Thursday, without disclosing the grant amounts.

The Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund was created as a new stream under the Victorian Jobs and Investment Fund in the state’s 2023 Budget, with $15 million in funding provided this financial year.

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It is designed to complement the Commonwealth R&D Tax Incentive by providing matched grant funding of between $250,000 and $2 million to Victorian businesses that “perform R&D as part of their operations”.

Grants are intended to incentivise businesses that have at least 20 full-time staff and an annual turnover of up to $100 million to invest in new R&D infrastructure that delivers “broad spill-over benefits” for industry.

While the value of the grants has not been disclosed, the government highlighted funding awarded to Polynovo, which plans to build a “world-class” polymerisation laboratory and upgrade its manufacturing facilities in Port Melbourne.

The government said the facility would allow the biotech specialising in wound and burn treatment to expand its R&D capability and fast track the development of new implantable products for hernia and breast reconstruction patients.

PolyNovo chief executive Swami Raote said the government support will help ensure that an “exciting pipleline of future products with the potential to redefine healing will be developed in Victoria”.

Quantum Brilliance, which is already expanding its presence in Victoria thanks to a $8 million investment from Breakthrough Victoria last year, will use its funding to continue plans for a quantum diamond foundry.

3D printing company SPEE3D will, meanwhile, use its grant to establish R&D capabilities that could potentially revolutionise how large metal components are manufactured, greatly reducing lead times and carbon emissions”.

Other companies to be awarded funding include Arkeus, an optical autonomy company that has already secured contracts with Defence for technology that lets users see more than is possible with the human eye and lithium battery manufacturer PowerPlus Energy.

Another three grants were also awarded to three unnamed companies, bringing the minimum possible expenditure awarded from the fund to date to $2.5 million. understands the individual grant amounts are commercial in confidence.

The Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions is expected to award further grants in the “near future”, with the five industry sectors identified in the Made in Victoria: 2030 Manufacturing Statement a focus area.

“We are investing in local industry’s R&D capability because it will have ripple effects across Victoria’s manufacturing sector, beyond fast-tracking innovative solutions to complex problems – it will help create new high-skilled jobs and fuel economic growth,” Ms Hutchins said.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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