I have many conversations with companies who are unsure what assistance there is from government to help them in their business - whether it is to encourage investment, improve their operations, hire staff, help develop export markets and invest in research. So here are some current programs that our readers may be interested in.

It is important that we look at government programs as a means to assist business to achieve what they are looking for – simply speaking – growth and improvements to the bottom line.

Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund

This $47.5m program supports capital projects to establish and expand advanced manufacturing activities in Victoria and South Australia. Funding of between $500,000 and $2.5m to cover up to a third of eligible project costs is available. It is part of the 2017-18 Budget designed to boost innovation, skills and employment in advanced manufacturing in Australia. The program supports capital projects by small and medium enterprises that expand and establish advanced manufacturing using advanced technologies, design and engineering excellence or innovative business processes.

The program aims to improve the overall efficiency and competitiveness of firms by increasing investment in advanced manufacturing activities in Victoria and South Australia and helping transition Australia’s manufacturing sector from traditional, heavy industrial processes to knowledge-based manufacturing of higher value products.

AMTIL provides support to companies who need assistance in developing an application for this program.

Innovation Connections

Targeted specifically at SMEs, this program provides access to expert technical advice to address technology and knowledge gaps, and collaborates with the research sector in developing new ideas with commercial potential. This is a free service and provides an expert Innovation Facilitator to work alongside a business to find solutions to their IT needs, identify new technology, knowledge & expertise and provide pathways to engage with the research sector if required. As stated, this is a free service but if the company decides to go further, then the program also provides support of up to $50,000 in matched funding for any projects identified through the process.

AMTIL is a Partner Organisation with AusIndustry on this program and have three national Innovation Facilitators ready to assist.

Centre for Defence Industry Capability

If you are an SME looking for assistance in developing capability into the defence sector, then this is for you. The CDIC delivers advisory and facilitation services to defence sector SMEs across a range of areas including business management, skills development, innovation collaboration, export activities and supply chain facilitation. This free service is delivered through a network of experienced business advisers and facilitators located around Australia. Services include information sessions and workshops, mentoring and guidance, business analysis, training needs analysis and help with access to domestic and global supply chain opportunities. As mentioned, this is a free service and provides a company with a report that will identify recommendations for improvement. If the company wants to take the next step, then grant funding of between $5,000 and $250,000 is available on a dollar for dollar basis to undertake an improvement plan.

Future Industries Manufacturing Program

This program is only available to Victorian operations and offers funding of up to $500,000 (co-contribution is $3 for every $1 granted) to implement new manufacturing technologies and processes. Consideration will be given to companies that can highlight how the investment will generate sustainable jobs growth, improve productivity and competitiveness and target new opportunities.

Entrepeneurs’ Programme

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme uses experienced Advisers and Facilitators, drawn from industry, to ensure businesses get the advice and support needed to improve their competitiveness, productivity and to seek growth opportunities. Practical support for businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs includes: advice from people with relevant private sector experience, co-funded grants to commercialise novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and services, funding to take advantage of growth opportunities, and connection and collaboration opportunities. This is a free service and provides an SME with a tailored Business Evaluation Action Plan and a Business Advisor that will coach and mentor your business for up to 12 months. Further funding of up to $20,000 on a dollar for dollar basis is available for business improvement projects identified through this process.

AMTIL is a partner organisation with AusIndustry for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and can assist in any initial discussions.

These are just a few of the Government programs that we believe will help businesses who want to help themselves. We encourage you to take a further look or give us a call.

Shane Infanti – CEO, AMTIL
03 9800 3666