Who for? Groups of businesses, linked either by geography or industry, who want to remove barriers to co-operation or work together to pursue commercial opportunities. The program is particularly directed at small and medium sized businesses.
What for? Funding for a wide variety of projects including feasibility and formation planning, industry skills enhancement, overcoming structural economic issues, market research, marketing and promotional activities or support for a facilitator to organise and manage the cluster.
How much? Clusters may attract a one-off 75% subsidy of up to $10,000 during early stage development and matched (50%) financial support up to $10,000 for any one project. Funding is limited to a maximum of $20,000 per individual business cluster over any two-year period.
When does it close? Ongoing.
We say: Could be a source of substantial funding for the many small and medium sized businesses, particularly in technology and research-based sectors, that already work in de-facto clusters. The program’s particular focus on the SME sector – funded clusters must have a large SME component – is also a positive.