Commercialising Ideas

While it would seem the Commercialisation Australia program has disappeared for good, however we understand that is not the case. As part of the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme a new component will be released in about November 2014 with a grants of up to $250,000 available for start-up companies with innovative ideas that are commercially driven. The new program will be called Commercialising Ideas and operate similar to the Commercialisation Australia program but exclude funding for Experienced Executives and Early Stage Commercialisation.

Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program commenced on 1 July 2014 predominantly replacing Enterprise Connect, Researchers in Business and Commercialisation Australia.. This program will be delivered through AusIndustry with a new Single Business Service to streamline the way businesses access government information and services.
The three proposed streams of the program are:

  • Business Management
  • Research Connections
  • Commercialising Ideas

Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF) Grants

The 2013 TIRF Grants Round 2 have been launched. The Minister Assisting on Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell launched the competitive merit-based TIRF Grants Program on Monday 23 June 2013. The grants range from $50,000–$250,000 (GST exclusive) and are  matched dollar-for-dollar funding basis for the purpose of aiding tourism operators to improve the quality and range of visitor experiences in regional Australia.

The is approximately $9.6 million of funding available for eligible projects, with approximately 50 projects expected to be funded in this round.

Key dates

  • Online applications close at 11.59pm AEST on Wednesday 7 August 2013.
  • Outcomes are expected to be advised in October 2013.
  • Projects will be able to start from December 2013 and must be completed by 31 March 2016

More information can be found on the Australian Government’s website for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism or by contacting our office.

Green Light For Clean Technology Investment Program

The Government today announced details of the long awaited Clean Technology Investment Program.  The CITP will provide $1 billion in funding for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution and also help manufacturers buy new plant and equipment which cuts their energy costs or reduces carbon pollution.

The CITP comprises the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program which will support jobs and provide incentives for manufacturers to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable. Eligible manufacturers can apply for funding under the programs from today.

The Government also announced they would change co-contribution requirements to make the grant programs more attractive for small and medium-sized firms.  Manufacturers with turnovers of less than $100 million requesting funding under $500,000 will now only have to match the government grants on a dollar for dollar basis.For all other grants under $10 million, applicants will be required to contribute $2 for every $1 from the Government. For grants of $10 million or more, applicants will be expected to make a co-contribution of at least $3 for each $1 of Government support.

Projects that can be supported include switching to less carbon intensive energy sources or installing new manufacturing equipment, processes and facilities to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Inspiring Australia With $5 Million

The latest round of Inspiring Australia : Unlocking Australia’s Potential grant will provide $5 million available across three categories for projects to be delivered between 2012 and 2014. It is intended to fund a collection of projects that provide a good mix of activities with a variety of approaches, audiences, locations and topics. This grant will provide money to museums, universities, industry, local government, community and other organisations for activities that increase knowledge of science, and the benefits that science brings to everyday life in the community. Priority will be given to areas not previously funded by the Inspiring Australia initiative.

This grant round will also encourage:

  • A strengthened, cohesive and sustainable national program of science engagement activities. These activities will take into account existing projects and projects funded or supported by other means.
  • A spread of activities across Australia.
  • A comprehensive mix of activities in relation to delivery approaches, target audiences, geographic locations, and the science topic focus
  • A focus on priorities such as (but not limited to) youth, Indigenous communities and regional Australia
  • Innovative approaches to engaging audiences in science.

The round is open for applications from 16 January to 29 February (4pm AEDST) 2012.
Please visit this page often to receive announcements and updates. For more information visit or contact Pattens on 1800 PATTENS.

Government Abandons Exporters

The Australian Labor Government provides over $20 billion to support innovation through the R&D Tax Scheme while providing only $150 million to support export marketing through the EMDG scheme.

To put the government’s current approach into perspective, please consider this hypothetical scenario.

An Australian business decides to develop a new product and commits $1 million towards developing the required innovation.  On completion of the development of this potentially world leading product they decide to explore international trade opportunities and commit $7500 towards those activities.

Does this sound ridiculous?  It should, because it is!! But this is exactly what the Gillard Labor Government is currently doing.

The Australian Labor Government currently provides over $20 billion through the R&D Tax Scheme while the EMDG scheme is capped at $150 million of which 10% is used to administer the scheme.  So in reality the situation is much worse than described.

When is the Government going to get serious about supporting Australian businesses to promote their products on the international market? The EMDG scheme requires a complete revamp and a significant cash injection to at least $500m.  We encourage you to contact the Minister for Trade, Hon Dr Craig Emerson, and ask him to explain their rationale for abandoning exporters.  His contact details are available on

R&D Tax Incentive Advisory Committee

The Government announced today the appointment of “experts” from across small business and industry will oversee Australia’s new R&D Tax Incentive.   The new R&D Tax Incentive Advisory Committee has been established to ensure the program provides the intended benefits to Australian industry from increased investment in research and development.  The R&D Tax Incentive Advisory Committee will also be responsible for canvassing a broad range of views on the operation of the R&D Tax Incentive. It will consider program performance data and analysis provided by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and the Australian Taxation Office.

The new R&D Tax Incentives an incentive for Australia’s creative firms and individuals to invest in new ideas, products and services. It is also a key opportunity for researchers to connect to industries.  This Incentive is the biggest change to the way the government has supported R&D in a long time. This committee of “experts” will monitor the performance of the program and provide advice to Government on its implementation and operation.

The R&D Tax Incentive Advisory Committee comprises only one real business :

Mr David Miles AM       Innovation Australia chairman  who will chair the advisory committee.
Dr Nicholas Gruen     Newly appointed to the Innovation Australia Board
Mr Innes Willox           You guessed it, also newly appointed to the Innovation Australia Board
Mr Serg Duchini          National R&D Partner Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Ms Kathy Kelly            Director of Boyce Chartered Accountants
Dr Anna Lavelle         CEO of AusBiotech
Mr Sam Turnbull        CEO of Flipscreen, an SME based in rural NSW (the only member who has actually conducted R&D)

Scientists, engineers and researchers appreciate representation from “experts” who are not involved in developing innovative technology or operating in a real business in the current economic climate.  To really understand the challenges and support require the Committee should comprise past and present executives of successful Australian technologies.  Sorry Mr Carr but the money being paid to the “R&D Club” is a waste of Taxpayers funds.

Commercialisation Australia Scheme Axed

The Commercialisation Australia Scheme (CAS) may be axed as early as next April 2012 and replaced in some part by the Clean Technology Program (CTP). The CTP is designed to provide support for manufacturers through three components: the Clean Technology Investment Program, Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program, and the Clean Technology Innovation Program. The suite of sub-programs are intended to provide assistance to help manufacturers across a range of industries make the transition to a low carbon economy, and assist businesses to move into less emissions-intensive and more energy-efficient production processes.  Grants through the programs will be competitive and based on merit, and will range from $25,000 to $10 million.

Contact Pattens for more information on either the Commercialisation Australia Scheme or the Clean Technology Fund.

Research Infrastructure Grant Round 2

The role of the Education Investment Fund (EIF) is to build a modern, productive, internationally competitive economy by supporting world-leading, strategically focused infrastructure investment. It has invested more than $1.6 billion into research infrastructure projects since 2008. The recent funding of a $17.5 million for the Centre at University of Melbourne under round 2 of the EIF will bring together scientists and researchers who are leaders in their fields including a better understanding of the human brain and diseases of the central nervous system is closer thanks to the new Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne. The Centre will put Australia in the box seat for developing new brain-machine interfaces that can do anything from helping quadriplegics use computer systems to enhancing computer games and entertainment.

It is designed to encourage our finest researchers to delve into advanced scientific modeling, complex data processing, and the development of autonomous systems  There is great potential for the work of this centre to inspire and improve the lives of all Australians – indeed, its reach will be truly global.

The Centre’s director Professor Stan Skafidas has a brilliant international reputation for his work in the development of microelectronics, wireless communication and other communication systems.

Pattens Group Wins Industry Award

The 2011 Import Export Show was held last week in Sydney, showcasing services and support available to assist importers and exporters with their international business engagement and development. The show provided a great insight into the growth of the Import Export industry and provided opportunities for attendees to seek advice and put thoughts into action!

Pattens Group was award best ‘Business Service Provider’ at the 2011 Import Export Industry Awards. The inaugural awards were created to recognise the efforts of industry specialists who are making a significant contribution to international trade facilitation in Australia. Nominated companies demonstrated outstanding services which assist businesses and individuals who are either importing or exporting products or services within the Australian market and abroad.