Victoria links with Israel in science and technology

May 21, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced a new program to connect Victorian science and technology companies with their counterparts in Israel to develop innovative R&D projects.

Louise Asher

Louise Asher

Ms Asher said that the Victorian Israel Science Innovation and Technology Scheme (VISITS) will provide opportunities for Victorian companies to explore partnerships with Israeli companies.

“Through collaboration and international partnering, we are more likely to develop mutually beneficial projects and improve economic outcomes for both Victoria and Israel,” Ms Asher said.

“Victoria and Israel are both leaders in research and development and by partnering to share expertise and capabilities we expect to improve productivity, jobs and exports.” Ms Asher said.

Victorian companies can seek funding to attend recognised trade missions, conferences and meetings in Israel; develop, test or commercialise new services or products; or create new global market opportunities, in partnership with Israeli companies.

The VISITS program consists of four program streams:

  • Victoria Israel Trade Missions (VISTRADE) – supports the organisation and management of 
trade missions, run by the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC)
  • Victoria Israel Trade and International Partnering (VISTRIP) – provides grant assistance for 
eligible Victorian organisations to attend recognised trade missions, conferences and 
meetings in Israel.
  • Victoria Israel Feasibility and Proof of Concept (VISFPC) – provides grant assistance of up to 
$50,000 for Victorian and Israeli organisations to collaborate on feasibility and/or proof of 
concept studies; the key deliverable will be a case for further investment.
  • Victoria Israel Science and Technology R&D Fund (VISTECH) – funding contributions to 
leverage further investment in collaborative projects identified through the VISFPC stream; this stream is similar to the original VISTECH program.

Ms Asher also announced that Deputy Premier Peter Ryan would lead a mission to Israel in mid July.
“We are now seeking applicants from Victorian science and technology companies to travel to Israel to explore opportunities with Israel counterparts,” Mr Ryan said.

“The VISITS program is open to all private and public sector organisations with interests in biotechnology, small technologies, information and communication technology, clean technologies and advanced manufacturing.”

The Victorian Israel Science Innovation and Technology Scheme (VISITS) builds on outcomes of the previous Victoria Israel Science and Technology R&D Fund, supporting Victorian and Israeli companies to work collaboratively on R&D projects of mutual benefit.

The VISITS program is an outcome of a review in to the Victoria/Israel trade relationship chaired by Member for Caulfield, David Southwick.

Mr Southwick led this review for Minister Asher in 2012 with input from the Chancellor of Monash University Dr Alan Finkel AM, Chairman of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) Leon Kempler OAM, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel Meir Itzchaki and the Israel Trade Commission’s Ethy Levy.

“The strength of Victoria’s relationship with Israel culturally and commercially combined with Israel’s reputation as a global centre of innovation makes a scheme like VISITS a natural fit. This new program will encourage Victorian companies to visit Israel and explore potential opportunities to collaborate,” Mr Southwick said.

“VISITS will boost this relationship and take it to new levels of collaboration in terms of research and development. I look forward to continuing to work with the Victorian and Israeli governments to ensure a strong and productive working relationship.”

The Victorian Government is working with MATIMOP, AICC, Israel Australia Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and the Israel Trade Commission to deliver the program.

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