Funding boost to help food businesses innovate
8 February 2018
Businesses in Victoria's agriculture and food sector can now apply for funding to access the know-how they need to take new products to market.
The new Food Innovation Voucher Program is part of the Victorian Government's Boost Your Business initiative, aimed at helping businesses innovate, diversify, improve productivity and employ more people.
Agriculture Victoria Program Manager, Will Dalton, said these vouchers prioritised businesses in the food supply chain and made up to $10,000 available for early stage feasibility and testing of ideas, and up to $50,000 for research and development, process innovation, product development, market positioning and labelling.
"For example, a food manufacturer might want to align their products with national nutrition guidelines so they can be sold in vending machines in venues such as hospitals and sport centres," Mr Dalton said.
"The company knows that because of the long shelf-life needed to sell food in vending machines, very few products meet health food requirements," he said.
"They could apply for a Food Innovation Voucher to find and work with a food technologist to help them develop an innovative dip and cracker product which meets these health food requirements and can be dispensed from a vending machine."
Mr Dalton said the vouchers could also be used to access facilities, services and advice from Registered Service Providers such as the CSIRO, universities and industry facilities.
"The Victorian Government is confident this initiative will help local businesses find ways to add value to their products, boost production levels and better meet consumer needs," he said.
"There are also three other vouchers available; Advancing Victorian Manufacturing, Social Enterprise Capability, and The Asia Gateway stream."
The voucher program is open to small to medium sized enterprises in the agriculture and food value chain with an operating presence in Victoria. Upon application, businesses will also be registered as members of the Food Innovation Network, an online network linking industry with innovation services and capabilities, to drive innovation and problem-solving.
The first round of the voucher program closes on 2 March and interested business should speak to a registered service provider before starting the application process.
To view the list of service providers and program guidelines, or to apply, visit business.vic.gov.au/foodinnovation or call 13 22 15.
Categorised under: Agriculture