Incentives, grants and programs

These programs may be available to you when you are entering the Melbourne market or once your have established your operations in Melbourne.  The following funding grants are offered by the State Government of Victoria, the Commonwealth Government of Australia and AusIndustry.

Victorian Government grant programs

Future Industries Fund (FFI)

The Victorian Government has established the A$200 million Future Industries Fund to support high-growth sectors that have potential for extraordinary economic growth - to create jobs and attract investment in Victoria. Future Industries is about supporting investment in high-growth industries through industry excellence and development projects, including establishing collaborative networks and building supply chain readiness capabilities.

The fund will offer grants of up to A$1 million for projects that align with sector action plans. Recipients will be expected to contribute at least A$1 for every A$1 in grant funding awarded. The fund will also offer general grants of up to A$500,000 to companies engaged in manufacturing - recipients do not need to be part of the six high-growth sectors but will be expected to contribute at least A$3 for every A$1 in grant funding awarded.

Further information about specific programs within the fund will be released shortly, however the overarching focus is on projects that create the most jobs and projects unlikely to succeed without government support.

Through the Future Industries Fund, these grant programs provide direct funding support to businesses seeking to innovate and grow:

1. Future Industries Manufacturing Program: Future Industries Fund: Future Industries Fund

Funding: Up to A$500,000

This funding program is designed to assist business to invest in new manufacturing technologies and processes in their Victorian operations and to support Victorian businesses.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant company must have:

  • an ACN and ABN number
  • financial capacity to meet co-contribution requirements (A$3 for every A$1 granted)
  • be investing in its Victorian manufacturing operation

2. New Energy Jobs Fund (NEJF): Future Industries Fund

Funding: A$50,000 to A$1 million

This funding program is designed to support new energy technology projects and support Victorian businesses.

Eligibility criteria

The project must have a ‘Lead Organisation’ which must act as the applicant. The Lead Organisation must have an ACN and ABN and operating history of at least three years.

Participants (as a part of a consortium) do not have to meet the Lead Organisation requirements above. If the lead organisation or their parent company submits overseas financial records as part of the financial risk assessment it may disadvantage the project but will be considered on a case by case basis.

3. The Victorian Defence Industry Supply Chain Program (VDISCP): Future Industries Fund

Funding: up to A$50,000

To help Victorian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) compete for and win more defence and national security related work.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant company must be:

  • A Victorian SME with an ACN and ABN number
  • Financial capacity to meet co-contribution requirements (A$1 for every A$1 granted)
  • Currently engaged in a defence or national security supply chain or be able to demonstrate a genuine intent to enter a defence or national security supply chain.

LaunchVic for startups

LaunchVic, a new entity that will accelerate startups, drive new ideas and create jobs in Victoria has been launched by the State Government of Victoria in conjunction with Victoria's startup community and the successful Melbourne-grown firm 99designs.

The A$60 million fund is being provided over four years from 2016 from the Premier of Victoria's Jobs and Investment Fund.

LaunchVic works in partnership with entrepreneurs, industry, business, the community and our educational institutions to strengthen Victoria's entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem. Its focus is to invest in the infrastructure of Victoria's startup ecosystem to increase scale and improve capability.

The fund currently funds programs to support startups and entrepreneurs in Victoria by:

  • Fostering a more collaborative and linked network of co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators.
  • Encouraging the clustering of destination hubs that build capacity and connectedness within the startup community. These ‘Launch Hubs’ would be focal points to lift global visibility and brand Victoria as a regional startup powerhouse.
  • Building capability through improved advocacy, education programs, mentoring, events, hackathons, competitions, improving access to venture capital and startup ecosystem mapping.

Round 4 Grant Funding: World-Class Accelerator Program

Funding: Up to $3 million per application

Round 4 of the LaunchVic grant funding is open until 10am AEDT Tuesday 10 October 2017. Funding will be granted to an accelerator program that will support global excellence in the provision of services, and global connectivity to help accelerate the very best startups to achieve on an international scale.

Eligibility criteria

Open to local (Australian) accelerators, international accelerators and teams with proven track records of success.

The program must be delivered in Melbourne and help contribute to the growth of the local ecosystem.

Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT)

Funding: A$50,000 to A$2 million

To support job creating projects in Melbourne's North, West and South-East and the Geelong Region (communities affected by the departure of Ford, Holden and Toyota manufacturing operations).

The policy intent of the program is to support Victorian businesses.

Eligibility criteria

An applicant company must have:

  • An ACN and ABN number
  • Financial capacity to meet co-contribution requirements (A$3 for every A$1 granted)

Public Sector Innovation Fund (PSIF)

Funding: On average A$50,000 to A$400,000

The fund supports collaborative, small-scale projects that drive innovation in the Victorian public sector.

Eligibility criteria

The applicant and project lead must be a Victorian government department, agency or statutory body.

Commercial entities involved in the project could be registered overseas or have overseas trading history. The impact of this would be assessed at the due diligence stage of the application.

The Victoria- Israeli Science Innovation and Technology Scheme (VISTECH)

Funding: Up to A$250,000

The VISTECH program aims to provide incentives for Victorian and Israeli companies to collaborate on research and development activities pertaining to technology-based products, processes or services. This program is designed to support Victorian businesses.

Eligibility criteria

The applicant company must be a for-profit entity with a registered office and principal place of business in Victoria.

Assigned Production Investment - Games

Funding: Up to A$150,000

Administered by Film Victoria, the fund assists Victorian games companies to create and market a diverse range of games for any distribution platform with an emphasis on the creation of intellectual property (IP) and long-term benefits for their business. Project support is available for all stages including prototyping, production and release.

Eligibility criteria

The applicant cannot be a non-resident, but may be a company directed by a non- resident. An applicant company must have been based in and operating out of Victoria for at least 12 months prior to the funding application (or have a company principal/parent entity which meets this requirement).

Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF)

Funding: Up to A$500,000

To promote investment in regional infrastructure in the following areas:

  • Visitor Economy (tourism)
  • Productive and liveable cities
  • Infrastructure innovation
  • Regional development
Eligibility criteria

The applicant cannot be an individual or non-resident, but may be a company directed by a non-resident.

Commonwealth Government of Australia programs

  • AusIndustry Programs
  • R&D Tax incentive
  • Business Innovation and Investment Program
  • Business Talent Visa
  • Business and Innovation Visas

For more information and assistance, simply contact your local Victorian Government Trade and Investment representative.