BUSINESSES with ‘big ideas’ will have the opportunity to access up to $50,000 in funding to put their plans into action, as part of a State Government initiative.
The ‘What’s Your Big Idea Queensland?’ program will be jointly run with the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) and will fund up to $2.5 million worth of business ventures, catering to SMEs that have up to 200 staff.
Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland businesses are some of the most innovative in Australia and says the program will help to boost economic growth.
“It's a program that reduces red tape and gives businesses the freedom to tell us what their big idea is and why they should have a share of an initial $1 million prize pool this financial year,” she says.
“There are over 400,000 businesses in Queensland and every-one of them relies on new and exciting commercial ideas to grow and this program will help further invigorate their innovation efforts."
The judging panel for grants will comprise heavy hitters including, Virgin Blue founder Brett Godfrey, QUT Deputy Vice Chancellor Arun Sharma, QMI Solutions CEO Jim Walker and Vulture Street consulting principal Kate Morrison.
Ai Group Queensland director Matthew Martyn-Jones says the new vouchers will raise awareness about innovation and help businesses face the pressures that arise from the minerals boom.
“It's critically important to support innovative ideas and their commercialization to help give businesses a boost in the face of the pressures on industry arising from the minerals boom,” he says.
“Such impacts including the high dollar, pressure on wages, skill shortages and interest rates, are impacting on productivity, particularly in sectors such as manufacturing.
“The new vouchers will both raise awareness of the importance of innovation and give successful business applications under the scheme some support to re-think their business model, develop new products or processes and contribute to making their enterprises and Queensland more productive and profitable."
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