ACS Foundation offers govt-funded research to SMBs

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ACS Foundation offers govt-funded research to SMBs

E-commerce, cloud computing projects flagged.

Australian Computer Society spin-off, the ACS Foundation, has joined the Federal Government’s Enterprise Connect program to support small to medium ICT companies’ research projects.

The foundation was formally recognised by the Government as a research organisation for its Enterprise Connect Researchers in Business program after consulting with companies about the program for the past three months.

The $10 million program offered to pay half of researchers’ salaries, to a maximum of $50,000, for two to 12 months.

It was launched in 2009 and targeted manufacturing, clean technology, resources technology, creative industries and defence businesses, as well as those in remote areas.

Formal recognition enabled the ACS Foundation to review and submit funding applications on behalf of ICT companies and employ researchers to assist eligible small to medium businesses with their projects.

ACS Foundation executive director John Ridge said the foundation was the first research organisation in the program to target the ICT sector specifically.

“Areas we will focus on is largely IT or software development-type research,” he said.

Although its involvement in the program was only announced this week, Ridge said the foundation had already attracted expressions of interest from three businesses.

Two of those businesses operated in the e-commerce and cloud computing areas, he said. The third was based in Western Australia.

To be eligible for Government funding, projects needed to align with the applicant's business strategy, create new competencies within the business and develop new ideas with commercial potential.

Funding would be provided for between two to 12 months to businesses that were at least three years old with turnovers or expenditure of between $1 million and $100 million.

Ridge said ACS Foundation support would not be limited to Australian Computer Society members, noting that the society and foundation operated separately.

He said the foundation would complement other Enterprise Connect research organisations including the University of Melbourne.

“The University of Melbourne hasn’t had much traction in the IT space; they’re hoping to get a lot more partners from the IT industry,” he noted.

Enterprise Connect’s technology and knowledge connect manager Evangelos Lambrinos also highlighted the foundation’s ICT industry position in a statement released yesterday.

“The [foundation] is able to tap into the deep talent pool of Australia’s information and communications technologies industry and the ICT and science faculties of our universities,” Lambrinos said.

“The Foundation is in an excellent position to match business projects to appropriate research organisations and individual researchers.”

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