On Friday, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane launched the final part of the Government’s $484.2 million Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme, the Accelerating Commercialisation stream, which is designed to enhance Australia’s ability to bring its best new products, processes and services to market.
“Australia has some of the best researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs in the world, but our track record of turning great ideas into commercial products is not as good as it could be, or as good as it should be if we are to keep pace in evolving global markets,” Macfarlane said in a press statement on Friday.
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“Accelerating Commercialisation will help innovative Australian businesses to tackle the challenges they come up against in commercialising new ideas, by providing access to the expert advice, experience and networks crucial for attracting investment and getting new ideas into the marketplace.”
Commercialisation advisers will guide businesses through the commercialisation process. Eligible commercialisation activities may also receive financial assistance in the form of a matching grant of up to $1 million, according to the statement.
The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme is part of the government’s new Industry Policy and works in conjunction with the Industry Innovation and Competiveness Agenda. An additional $60 million was also announced to co-fund commercialisation projects through the programme.
More information on the services under the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme can be found at the website.
Here are nine things you may not know about the new Accelerating Commercialisation program
- The maximum grant is $1 million so based on a 50:50 funding, projects up to $2 million can be considered.
- Your project must aim to commercialise novel intellectual property in the form of a novel product, process or service.
- The eligible projects must aim to achieve at least one of the following:
- Complete development of a novel product, process or service; or
- Prove commercial viability of a novel product, process or service to a customer, investor or strategic partner; or
- Make the first sales of the novel product, process or service in Australia or overseas; or
- Drive the business towards commercialisation of its novel product, process or service in the marketplace by engaging an Experienced Executive.
- Ineligible projects are those that:
- Have a focus on basic research or technical experiments without a high likelihood of a commercial transaction when completed.
- Scale production and/marketing activities in markets where you have already made your first sales of the novel product, process or service.
- Develop a novel product, process or service for internal use only.
- Commercialise the next version of an existing novel product, process or service where updates and changes are minor and therefore do not qualify as a novel product, process or service.
- The maximum annual salary for an Experienced Executive is $250,000. A project can be for a maximum of two years so potentially up to $500,000 can be claimed (half will be funded).
- Funding is available for “making first sales” meaning that you should be able to demonstrate, consistent with your value proposition, market acceptance of your novel product, process or service in your key markets.
- There are six merit criteria that you need to satisfy:
- Need for Funding
- Market Opportunity
- Value Proposition
- Execution Plan
- Management Capacity
- National Benefits
- The first check is to assess your “Need for Funding” – you need to prove that you have exhausted all efforts to fund the project through your own means but still have the means to fund your half of the project.
- With the National Benefits merit criteria, you will assessed on the extent that your project will target and/or participate in the growth sectors of:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Food and Agribusiness
- Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
- Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
- Oil, Gas and Energy Resources
- Enabling Technologies that support the above five growth sectors
- Erik Anderson assists businesses get government funding and is Managing Director at grantcentral.com.au