Back to top

VPS Innovation Case Study - Smart SMEs Market Validation Program

Author: Kine Nordstokka
Published Date: 17 November 2010

While Victoria remains Australia’s strongest performing non-resource-based state, strong international competition, ageing population and climate change require support and encouragement for further growth of the Victoria’s economy.

That is why the Smart SME Market Validation Programme (MVP) was established by Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development. The MVP is a $28 million competitive grants program which aims to identify the technology needs of Victorian public sector entities and match them to SMEs (Small to medium enterprises) with the specific innovative capability to meet those needs.

Being broadly modelled on the US Small Business Innovation and Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programmes, the MVP demonstrates hallmarks of public sector innovation in a number of respects:

•taking a non-traditional demand-led approach to innovation

•targeting innovative technology to address unmet public sector entity needs

•keeping the process simple to facilitate innovation

•encouraging collaboration to strengthen the innovation effort.

The first round of the programme opened in 2009 and attracted 129 highly diverse proposals from Victorian SMEs. While the benefits of the programme might take years to become evident, to estimate immediate effects of the first round a practical evaluation framework was developed by an independent consultancy. It included survey of participating SMEs and agencies that found that participants were highly satisfied with the process and that MVP was enabling projects and collaborations that would not have occurred otherwise.

For further details, please refer to the attached PDF.