Applications are now open for stage one of the Health Market Validation Program, a $15 million competitive grants program encouraging innovation in healthcare among Victorian SMEs.
The program, funded by the Victorian Government, is designed to generate health-related solutions in a bid to improve health or healthcare service delivery and reduce costs.
It links those in the public health sector, who have identified a technology need, with innovative SMEs that can deliver solutions, and supports the pre-market development of these solutions.
The program builds on an earlier pilot program – the Smart SMEs Market Validation Program – developed in consultation with the health industry sector to effectively target health services.
“The program provides a new source of funding to develop products, processes or services, and the opportunity to develop and validate new technology in response to a real customer demand,” a spokesperson says.
“In doing so, it offers a sound position from which to secure further investment and commercial opportunities.”
The program is broken down into three stages:
Stage 1. Applications are now open for health-focused public sector entities to apply for the program. Applications close on January 31.
Eligible entities can include hospitals, health services, aged care providers, community health providers and ambulance services.
Stage 2. The Victorian Government will invite the SME market to propose new technology solutions to meet the need described in selected Technology Requirement Specifications.
SMEs may apply when the Call for Proposals is announced in early 2012. At least 80% of the R&D work must be undertaken in Victoria for the duration of the project.
Stage 3. SMEs that submit successful proposals will receive a grant of up to $100,000 to undertake a feasibility study for up to four months.
Successful feasibility studies may then be eligible for further funding of up to $1.5 million over two years in a validation phase to undertake the project R&D to progress towards market.