Victorian software developers will soon be eligible for financial assistance from the state government towards the cost of gaining Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 2 accreditation.

The AU$1 million program will fund 50 percent of the cost of accreditation, subject to a maximum of AU$10,000.

-Victoria has a very talented software development industry, but without world recognised accreditation, these companies are placed at a competitive disadvantage,” said Information and Communication Technology Minister Marsha Thomson.

-Accreditation will assist Victorian firms to grow what is already an AU$3.1 billion local industry and enable companies to gain the confidence of prospective business partners, reducing the risks associated with development projects.”

Officials claimed this will be the first time an Australian state government has provided financial support for developers seeking accreditation.

The grants program commences on February 1, 2004, and will run for three and a half years. To qualify for the grants, organisations must show they gained the accreditation after a Class A or Class B appraisal by a certified appraiser. The weaker Class C appraisal, which only involves an interview, will not be accepted.

CMMI accreditation has been especially popular with Indian software companies that have sought to prove the maturity of their processes to overseas customers.

The Victorian government will also provide Software Engineering Australia with AU$50,000 to develop a Software Quality Centre of Excellence in Melbourne. This centre would be the only one of its type in the Asia-Pacific region to be accredited by the European Software Institute.