Boost Your Business Voucher Program – Food Innovation StreamOverview
This program aims to encourage collaborative problem solving, develop innovation capability and stimulate business growth. It forms part of the Victorian government's Boost Your Business Voucher Program which seeks to support businesses to become more productive, employ more people, improve market access and in general, increase their scale, diversity and profitability.
The objectives of this stream are to:
- Foster industry engagement and collaboration between R&D providers and businesses.
- Increase commercialisation rates of research through development of innovative products, packaging and processes in growth oriented SMEs.
- Improve productivity levels by shifting the food sector’s focus and culture from reactive to proactive, and from survival to competitive and disruptive.
- Support projects that align to Food and Fibre Sector-related government initiatives including the Healthy Choices Guidelines.
- Reduce the barriers and challenges faced by businesses that limit the level of investment.
- Reduce the barriers and challenges faced by Aboriginal businesses and Traditional Owner Enterprises in growing commercial bushfoods and botanicals businesses.
Vouchers are available under the following categories:
- Early stage feasibility and testing: Up to $10,000 (GST exclusive). Do not require any cash co-contribution. However, there is an expectation that businesses will make an appropriate staff member available to work with the Registered Service Provider for up to ten hours.
- Innovation: Up to $50,000. Applicants must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total costs of services.
- Business capability: Up to $50,000. Applicants must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total costs of services.
Eligible applicants include small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are on a growth trajectory and must meet the following criteria:
- Be a legally structured business registered in Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Meet any co-contribution requirements with eligible cash expenditure.
- Meet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards.
- Have an operating presence in Victoria.
- Employ at least 20 FTE (full-time equivalent) staff or have an annual turnover of greater than $1.5 million (preference will be given to applicants that employ less than 200 people).
- Conduct the majority of proposed activities in Victoria in partnership with a Registered Service Provider.
- Agree to participate in future program evaluation activity.
In addition, applicants to this stream must:
- Become a member of the Victorian Food Innovation Network.
- Be currently engaged in the food value chain (this includes agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing and excludes forestry and fishing).
- Demonstrate a genuine commercial connection to the food value chain.
- Applicants for the ‘Prepare for and attract Investment‘ Vouchers must also demonstrate a growth opportunity and the need for external investment in order to realise that opportunity.
- Not-for-profits and charitable organisations maybe eligible for a Food Innovation Voucher providing they meet turnover and/or employment criteria.
Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete eligibility requirements.
Eligible activities include:
- Innovation: Process innovation; product development; research & development; market positioning and labelling
- Early stage feasibility & testing
- Business capability: Prepare for and attract investment
Funding can be used to access facilities, services, advice or expertise from approved service providers to help businesses innovate, diversify, improve productivity and take products to market. The funding cannot be used for business-as-usual activities.
The main assessment criteria include:
- How will the project support one or more of the program objectives and voucher stream objectives? (30%)
- How will the project benefit the company by reaching longer term outcomes (e.g. new jobs, access to new markets and customers, new products and services and increased revenue)? (30%)
- Demonstrate their capacity or capability to successfully implement the project or project findings (e.g. track record of company and resources to be allocated to the project). (20%)
- Why does the project need government support to proceed? Detail the risks to the project without government support. (20%)