Victorian government invests half a million dollars in local startup contracts

The state government procured three startups through its startup procurement program CivVic Lab.

The Victorian government has handed half a million dollars worth of IT contract work to three local startups through its startup procurement program CivVic Lab.

Under the contracts, Ignition Immerserive, CheerMe, and She's a Crowd will help the state government develop technology solutions for workplace safety, transport, and education. Each startup is expected to receive between AU$150,000 to AU$200,000 to work on the various projects.

Ignition Immersive will partner with Worksafe Victoria to use virtual reality to improve safety in the construction industry, while CheerMe will work jointly with the Department of Education and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to create an app to address obesity in Victorian teens.

She's a Crowd will work with the Department of Transport to use crowdsourced spatial data to help planners enhance safety and mobility for women using the state's transport network.

"Connecting our local startups to government procurement opportunities is one of the most logical and impactful ways government can ensure the Victorian startup ecosystem is supported and continues to grow," Victorian Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said.

Read also: Australian government is currently juggling 62 high-cost IT projects

The additional contracts bring the total government investment in local startups acquired through CivVic Labs to AU$1.48 million. CivVic Labs was established in 2019 to provide startups access to more government procurement opportunities.

"These contracts provide vital capital for startups to continue to develop their products, build successful companies, and create jobs," LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick said.

In 2014, the Victorian government announced it would spend AU$9.5 million over four years to overhaul the way it manages and purchases IT technology.

Elsewhere, neighbouring New South Wales government has announced the further expansion of its QR code COVID-19 contact tracing scanner solution to the taxi industry.  

The state government said it has signed on Premier, Legion, and GM Cabs, as well as some regional taxi operators as participants. 

The technology allows customers to use a QR code scanner that has been integrated into the latest version of the Service NSW app to check-in when they ride in a taxi, which will enable contact tracers to quickly access customer details for potential COVID-19 contact tracing.

"Just like checking into a café or restaurant, passengers simply scan the taxi's unique QR code using the camera on their phone and follow the prompts," NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said of the rollout.

Updated at 4:57pm AEST, 30 October 2020: Fixed headline to million instead of billion

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