Innovation and R&D Grants

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.

Researchers In Business

What happened to the Researchers in Business Program? The 2014 Federal budget advised this scheme would be retained. Our investigations have revealed it is likely to return in September 2014 and the scheme will be very similar to the previous program. If you are interested in claiming this grant please let us know so we can keep you informed.

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 www.business.gov.au to streamline the way businesses access government information and services.
The three proposed streams of the program are:

  • Business Management
  • Research Connections
  • Commercialising Ideas

New Single Business Service

You may have noticed the AusIndustry website is no longer active. As part of the government’s consolidation of services the single access point for most government activities, including grants, is now www.business.gov.au
The new Single Business Service has necessitated that the previous Case Managers for Commercialisation Australia and Enterprise Connect are now part of AusIndustry and able to be contacted there.

Grant Cancellations

The new Liberal government is beginning to make announcements to the changes of the various grant schemes. Many of the different grants have been marked for cancellation as a means of “ending Labor’s waste and reckless spending”. Full details can be found at media release Our Plan to get the Budget under Control.

Schemes to be discontinued are

  • Jobs and Competitiveness Program;
  • Steel Transformation Plan;
  • Clean Technology Program;
  • Coal Sector Jobs Package;
  • Energy Efficiency Information Grants;
  • Clean Energy Skills package; and
  • Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chain programs.

Whether the schemes get discontinued immediately or if they will wait until the government has abolished the carbon tax first is yet to be released. More details expected to come over the next few days.

Keep in mind that other schemes such as Commercialisation Australia, R&D Tax Incentive and Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) seem to be unaffected at this stage and it is business as usual for us.

CEFC Clean Energy Grants

Oliver Yates has been appointed the head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) board. The former Macquarie Group banker will be responsible for managing how $13 billion in green investments will be allocated. The scheme is to drive clean energy products and is expected to drive around $100 billion in investments in the renewables sector over the period to 2050. The main activities of this scheme include the commercialisation and deployment of clean technology.

There are other scheme that are tackling climate change including the $3.2 billion being invested in research, development and commercialisation of renewable energy sector with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. There is also $200 million in funding for the research and development of clean technologies with the Clean Technology Innovation Program. Further, there is the Renewable Energy Target that promotes the use of renewable energy through the carbon price.

For more information can be found here on climate change grants.

Advanced Biofuels Investment Readiness Grants

The ABIR Program is a competitive one-stage, merit-based program offering grant funding to selected projects undertaking activities that build the investment case for significant and scalable pre-commercial demonstration projects for the production of high energy, drop-in advanced biofuels in Australia.

Projects under the ABIR Program may include, but are not limited to, pre-feasibility, feasibility and front-end engineering design studies or extensions to the operational demonstration of pilot-scale facilities with a clear pathway to commercialisation.

The $15 million ABIR Program is funded by the Australian Government and administered by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism until 1 July 2012, when responsibility for the program will transfer to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The ABIR Program closes at 5:00pm, 30 April 2012 AEST.

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 www.innovation.gov.au/InspiringAustralia or contact Pattens on 1800 PATTENS.

Steel Transformation Plan Open

Eligible companies will be able to apply for $164 million in competitiveness assistance advances under the Australian Government’s Steel Transformation Plan (STP) from today, despite the best efforts of the Coalition to block this assistance.  The Steel Transformation Plan comes into effect following Royal Assent to the Clean Energy Bills and the Steel Transformation Plan Bill.

Under the competitiveness assistance advances, the Government has brought forward up to $164 million which will allow eligible participants to draw down advances of their future STP entitlements to help the industry become more competitive and sustainable.  When announcing the provision of competitiveness assistance advances, the Prime Minister advised that this facility will allow BlueScope Steel to bring forward into 2011-12 up to $100 million of the payments allocated to it under the STP.

 

Commercialisation Australia Scheme Changes

From today Australian entrepreneurs will not have to repay Early Stage Commercialisation grants for businesses developing a new product, process, or service. Additionally, the annual turnover limit for applicants will rise from $20 million to $50 million and access to skilled managers now have the option to apply for an Experienced Executives grant of up to $350,000 – previously $200,000.

The government has foreshadowed further improvements to the scheme from early 2012 to support innovation in the manufacturing sector. The eligible expenditure guidelines for Early Stage Commercialisation grants will be amended to provide broader support for the development of pilot manufacturing plants and innovative manufacturing facilities.

Almost 180 innovators have already benefited from grants of $71.7 million from Commercialisation Australia, as well as expert advice from experienced case managers, to help turn their inventions into marketable products and services.