United Vic will share $100 million to drive innovation

Victorian universities will share $100 million to spark new ideas and turn them into profitable local businesses.

The nine Victorian universities can apply for grants ranging from $250,000 to $1 million under the five-year initiative, the state government announced on Thursday.

Universities will be able to co-design their “pre-seed” investment fund and will have to match government grants dollar for dollar.

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The funding will ensure that the best of universities’ innovation and design, product development, engineering, science and technology are not “gobbled up by investors on the other side of the world”. said Premier Daniel Andrews.

“It’s about making sure we have the maximum chance of seeing these ideas…move from lab to market, from concept to investment, to jobs and profits, right here in our state,” he said. he told reporters at the RMIT Advanced Manufacturing Precinct. .

“We have big challenges as a state, as a nation, coming out of COVID and the only way to deal with those challenges is to come out of those challenges.

“If you have all the best ideas coming out of Melbourne but the profits and the jobs are going to Singapore or San Francisco, that’s not good for Victoria.”

Investors recently invested $9.6 million in setting up clinical studies of an ingestible pill-like device developed by RMIT to diagnose conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Additionally, RMIT researchers are currently working on 3D-printed implants to replace bone riddled with cancer or defects instead of reinforcing them with traditional plates and screws.

The concept could be commercialized in the next two to three years, said Milan Brandt, professor of advanced manufacturing at RMIT.

“The local market for these types of implants is around $70 million every year…but the global market is in the billions of dollars,” he said.

According to the government, Victoria’s startup industry has grown from a valuation of $3 billion in 2019 to over $23 billion.

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