Victoria’s METS sector to benefit from R&D loans

Earth Resources Regulation has flagged that mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) companies can receive funding from the Victorian Government’s research and development (R&D) cash flow loans initiative.

The initiative will provide successful applicants with between $250,000 and $4 million in low-interest loans for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) for a period between 12-28 months.

“It can assist Victoria’s vibrant and pioneering METS sector to continue developing new products, services and technologies that could address some of the mining and resources sector’s greatest challenges,” Earth Resources Regulation stated.

METS companies have expertise across areas including engineering consulting, construction, information technology and professional services.

The initiative has been allocated $50 million from the Victorian Government, with cash loans to be delivered in the order of applications received.

Victorian SMEs can apply for the loan initiative if they qualify for the Commonwealth Government’s R&D tax incentive.

In May, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources tabled a review of Australia’s SMEs to encourage innovation across multiple industries, including mining.

The Department commissioned Emeritus Professor Raoul Mortley to review Australia’s patent system.

The review found that small inventors need commercialisation and patenting advice, litigation costs prevent people from using the patenting system and Australian intellectual property from patents is vital for Australia.

“SMEs make up 99 per cent of all Australian businesses, and we know the history and potential for great ideas and inventions among small Australian companies, so it is essential that we ensure their intellectual property can be safeguarded through patenting,” Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said.

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