Investments in new technologies, improved processes and collaboration provide a critical foundation for enhancing productivity and building a competitive edge. These investments can transform businesses. Businesses can change the way products are designed and produced, how products are acquired and how information, knowledge and resources are used.
This Regional Jobs Fund program stream aims to improve regional industry and business productivity to ensure the long-term sustainability of employment and business growth. It will provide funding to enable the adoption of new technology and innovative processes. It also supports the introduction of equipment that drives more efficient use of assets and greater supply chain integration.
The Innovation and Productivity program stream will support activities linked to business innovation or technological commercialisation and provide support for collaboration between industry clusters and research centres that strengthen competitiveness.
The Victorian Governmentês Back to Work plan has identified a number of high-growth sectors which will be targeted for future job growth.
The Innovation and Productivity program stream will focus on areas of regional competitive advantage and give preference to those proposals which seek to create jobs in emerging sectors including but not limited to:
– food and fibre
– professional services
– new energy technology
– medical technology, life sciences and healthcare
– transport, defence and construction technology
– international education
– the visitor economy.
Activities that will be considered
Through the Innovation and Productivity program stream support may be available for:
– integration of new technology and/or processes designed to improve productivity and competitiveness, strengthen capabilities and have a transformative impact on business models through encouraging wider and ongoing innovation
– specific infrastructure, plant or equipment that improves the efficiency and competitiveness of regional businesses
– common infrastructure projects that aim to address known regional infrastructure challenges that impact on industry sustainability and limit expansion
– industry clusters/networks that bring together representatives of regional businesses, research centres and government to strengthen regional supply chains and competitiveness through collaboration and innovation
– enhance workforce capabilities to support investment in new technologies and processes that improve the productivity of businesses.
Activities that will generally not be funded
The following activities will generally not be considered for funding:
– routine replacement or upgrades of plant and equipment using standard technologies
– activities that would be undertaken in the normal course of business such as maintenance and upgrades
– offsetting costs associated with various forms of accreditation
– purchase of capital equipment not directly linked to an innovation opportunity or the development of new strategic capability
– industry events and workshops without an innovation and productivity focus.