Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Minister for Regional Development; Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing

    $385,000 in Innovation Vouchers to support State’s best emerging innovators

    13/08/2021 9:05 AM
    • McGowan Government awards $385,000 in funding to help SME's and start-ups commercialise their innovative ideas
    • 21 successful applicants from across WA receive up to $20,000 each
    • The Innovation Vouchers Program is designed to help home-grown innovators and create jobs

    The McGowan Government has awarded $385,000 to innovators across the State to help commercialise their ideas and create new jobs.


    A total of 21 start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded up to $20,000 each through the Innovation Vouchers Program, which aims to assist Western Australian innovators.


    The program rewards exceptional Western Australians who have developed innovative products, technologies or services by providing funding to access professional skills, services or commercial knowledge.


    Vouchers are awarded in four categories - Research and Development, Product Development, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, and Commercialisation Support Services.


    First launched in 2011, the Innovation Vouchers Program is now part of the State Government's Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund to attract investment and promote the economic diversification of WA.


    Since the launch of the program, the State Government has awarded 199 vouchers worth approximately $3.7 million to promising early stage businesses through the Innovation Vouchers Program. Many previous voucher winners have since grown exponentially, expanded into international markets and built local workforces in WA.


    Applications were received from across the State and this year's recipients include a number of innovative ideas with a transformative social impact.


    One recipient of this year's program, EarBuddy, is a medical device that helps ventilate children's middle ears as they swallow, designed to provide non-invasive treatment for children suffering with Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), commonly known as glue ear. The technology has the potential to avoid the need for surgery and reduce developmental delay caused by hearing difficulties, addressing an unmet clinical need with an innovative solution.


    The EarBuddy device was engineered and is now being manufactured locally by Atamo Innovations in Belmont, demonstrating the local job-creating power of home grown innovations supported through the McGowan Government's Innovation Vouchers Program. EarBuddy will use the $20,000 voucher funding for registering its intellectual property.


    More information about the Innovation Vouchers Program and a full list of voucher recipients is available here.


    Comments attributed to Innovation and ICT Minister Don Punch:


    "Innovation is key to diversifying the State economy and the WA Government is committed to assisting growing businesses to help turn ideas into reality.


    "In the first ten years of the Innovation Vouchers program, the Government has funded 199 start-ups and SMEs by providing an estimated $3.7 million to help them grow, flourish and succeed.


    "I would like to congratulate the 2021 Innovation Vouchers Program recipients and wish them every success in using the funding to create a business that brings jobs to Western Australia.


    "As both Minister for Innovation and Minister for Disability Services, it is fantastic to see innovators using technology to provide greater choice and control to people with disability on this year's list of recipients."


    Comments attributed to Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe:


    "Earbuddy is such an innovative product with life-changing potential for children with glue ear, and it is exciting to have the manufacturing and engineering capacity to produce the device here locally in Belmont.


    "The Innovation Vouchers Program assists WA innovators to continue commercialising their products and creating local jobs - and I am delighted to see Belmont-based business Earbuddy is set to receive a $20,000 voucher through the latest round of this program."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900