It is a known fact that countries can derive great benefit from a flourishing tech industry. These benefits are both economic and social in nature. For this reason, countries around the world have been focusing on investing in the digital sector. For Australia, its economic success is intrinsically linked with a thriving digital sector. It has been estimated that targeted improvement of the digital industry would yield gains worth $315 billion in the coming decade. The government has decided to focus its efforts on four key areas:
- People – by developing digital skills of the population
- Services – delivering better digital services
- Digital Assets – building the infrastructure and improving secure access to data
- Enabling Environment – strengthening cyber-security and updating regulatory mechanisms
The Hob Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology for Australia, said, “In order to continue our run of over 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, Australia must seize the significant economic and social opportunities that digital technologies bring. To reap the benefits that new technologies provide and make sure no one is left behind we must work together. The Government will continue to engage with all Australians to ensure we are forward-looking but also flexible and responsive as new opportunities and challenges arise.”
The government has introduced multiple grants and funding opportunities for the digital sector to achieve the aims highlighted above. If you are an individual or a business in the digital sector and are hoping to secure funding, Grants Assist can help you with that. Grants Assist is a company that specializes in helping its clients secure government loans and grants. Their agents and advisors have a wealth of experience in this regard and will be able to walk you through the various steps involved in securing funding. The process can be daunting for those inexperienced with the process. There are multiple forms, lists of documents, multiple application steps, and to top it all off, thousands of applicants competing for a few spaces. However, Grants Assist would be able to help you breeze through all of these steps without breaking a sweat and also get your funding secured. This article goes through some of the grants that have been made available for the digital sector. Continue reading to learn about opportunities that you or your business could benefit from.
Now, more than ever, it has become important to develop digital skills and ensure that people have employment opportunities available for them. In 2016, the Department of Education and Training reported that 5,500 young Australians had graduated with degrees in ICT. It is important that opportunities are available for all of these individuals if Australia is to benefit from the tech industry. To increase employment opportunities for Australia’s youth, the government has started providing assistance to businesses that are employing young people.
Young Jobs PaTH
The Young Jobs PaTH grants funding to those businesses that employ people aged 17 to 24. Under this program, businesses can secure funding up to $10,000. The aim of this program is to incentivize businesses to prepare young people for work, give them a trial in their working environment without incurring extra expenses, and ultimately, hire young people if they are a good fit for the company. Businesses that hire young people are eligible to receive a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 under this program. All businesses are eligible for this grant. To take advantage of hosting a trial, the businesses must demonstrate actual employment prospects for the person.
Funding for Female Founders of Startups
The government is also providing funding opportunities for female founders of startups. Under this program, all eligible startups can apply for grants between $25,000 to $400,000. For this program, the government has set aside $52.2 million. The aim of this grant is to:
- Increase private sector funding for women-led startups
- Enable scaling-up and expansion into domestic and international markets
- Reduce obstacles in obtaining financing
- Increase diversity in founders of startups
To be eligible for this grant you must:
- Possess a valid ABN
- Be incorporated in Australia
- Be a partnership or a sole trader
The grant has two stages, with applicants being required to clear the first stage before they are allowed to progress to the next one. This is a highly competitive program and it is advised that assistance is sought to secure funding
Another program, the CSIRO Kick-Start is geared towards small and medium enterprises. Successful applicants can expect to get funding between $10,000 and $50,000. The funding can be used for paying salaries, covering administrative costs, or other external costs. To be eligible, businesses must currently be researching a commercially viable idea, developing a new product or improving on an already existing one.
This program has been designed to help startups that are building mobile applications. Applicants can get financial support so that they can expand into the international market. It is an ongoing program and funding is available from $13,000 to $250,000, dispensed over a period of two years. The funding will cover 50% of the cost of the project in major cities of Australia, whereas 65% of the cost of the project would be covered in regional areas.
To be eligible under this program, the individual must:
- Have a valid ABN
- Be incorporated in Australia, and
- the project should be valued at at least $26,000
Screen Australia and Skip Ahead from Google
Google, the tech giant, and Screen Australia have started a collaborative program called Skip Ahead. Screen Australia is a body of the federal government that provides funding for screen and digital content. Successful applicants can secure funding up to $150,000 under this program. The Skip Ahead project is going to fund five projects per year. The content needs to be produced for YouTube and can be fiction or documentary. To be eligible, YouTube content creators must be over 18 and have more than 10,000 subscribers on YouTube.