Regional Industry Collaboration Program

The RICP will help regional businesses build innovation and agility and create growth opportunities through access to the extensive expertise, technological infrastructure and global networks at regional universities and research institutions such as Deakin University and the CSIRO.

The Regional Industry Collaboration Program (RICP) expands and builds on the success of past programs which have worked to improve industry competitiveness and growth through collaboration with Deakin University and CSIRO’s excellent people, research infrastructure and global connections. Over the past five years over 100 Geelong companies participated and a further 110 companies were briefed on the program over a period of 5 years.

The RICP is supported by the Victorian State Government through the Future Industries Fund. This support is a vote of confidence in the future of our regional businesses and in the innovation potential of regional Victoria.

The RICP builds on the Geelong Manufacturing Council’s previous Industry Innovation Program (IIP), but with an expanded geographic reach to also support businesses in the Ballarat and Bendigo areas. The RICP program is also able to provide modest seed funding towards research projects on a competitive basis, which was not available under the previous IIP.

Who is eligible for the Program?

Any business in the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo areas in the following sectors:

  • Construction Technologies
  • Defence Technologies
  • Transport Technologies
  • Food and Fibre
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Professional Services
  • New Energy Technologies

What kinds of Projects are eligible?

Innovation may be in any aspect of your business some examples include:

  • Product design and development
  • Process optimisation
  • New and advanced materials
  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Energy efficiency
  • Business data analytics
  • Automation, visualisation
  • Consumer insights and business model innovation

Why Innovate?

Industries such as manufacturing are entering a dynamic new phase. As a new global consuming class emerges in developing nations, and innovations spark additional demand, businesses will have substantial new global opportunities. A large proportion of consumer growth will occur in our region of the world.

A PWC global survey found that 92% of manufacturing executives say that innovation is important to future revenue growth.  The most innovative companies increased revenue by 38% over the past three years at nearly four times the rate of the least innovative companies.

This program will help your business capture the benefits of innovation.

Quick Facts – Previous Industry Innovation Program

  • The Program, called the Industry Innovation Program (IIP), began in 2011 as a unique industry driven model to engage with Academia
  • More than 200 companies were introduced to the IIP program
  • The program resulted in increased investment, innovation and employment in Geelong
  • In excess of 110 projects have been proposed as a result of the program
  • Demonstrable increase in industry preparedness to take up R&D
  • A pipeline of ‘industry ready’ students has been created through student experience on Industry projects
  • Survey results confirm Geelong is regarded as a more innovative region than 4 years ago
  • On average every $1 invested in innovation returns $2 in sales*
  • Innovation active businesses are 1.4X  higher for sales and profitability**
  • Academic collaboration triples the likelihood of productivity growth in business**

Key Focus Going Forward

  • Build on success – maintain momentum from the past 5 years and grow participation in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo areas
  • Build stronger pathways to regional universities and research institutions such as Deakin University and CSIRO to overcome the second largest barrier to innovation in Australia, lack of skilled persons*
  • Frequency matters! Persistent innovators achieve 18 times the growth of others**
  • Award seed funding to worthy projects to leverage development and growth of industry in regional Victoria
  • Ongoing  support of transition from the traditional manufacturing base in regional Victoria

* The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries Homi Kharas Brookings Institute
** Australian Innovation System Report 2017