News

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You may have noticed the AusIndustry website is no longer active.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.

2014 Federal Budget Summary

The budget has closed Commercialisation Australia to new applications. Full applications submitted and accepted on or before 21 March 2014 will be assessed, and if meritorious against the assessment criteria they will be funded. All existing recipients of CA will still continue to be funded.
A new Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme will replace:

  • Australian Industry Participation
  • Commercialisation Australia
  • Enterprise Solutions
  • Innovation Investment Fund
  • Industry Innovation Councils
  • Enterprise Connect
  • Industry Innovation Precincts
  • Textile, Clothing and Footwear Small Business and Building Innovative Capability

By discontinuing these programs the government will save $845 million over five years. Some of these funds ($484 million) will be distributed through the new Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme.

EMDG gets $50m Boost

The government has allocated an additional $50m towards the successful Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) boost to help SME’s expand their export markets.

Other changes to the EMDG scheme announced will see the expense threshold reduced from $10,000 to $5,000 which reduces the minimum expenditure for an eligible claim from $20,000 to $15,000. The number of grants available to eligible businesses will be increased from seven to eight.

The EMDG scheme provides small businesses with a refund of 50 per cent of eligible export market expenditure.  Austrade have acknowledged Pattens expertise in the EMDG by awarding 3 staff with best practice export grant consultant status.

Clean Technology Programs Closure

AusIndustry has been sending out letters lately informing the official closure of the Clean Technology Programs. The current Australian Government has committed to abolishing the carbon tax and they expect in doing so they will lower the costs for Australian businesses and manufacturers. This will hopefully promote growth and costs.

As such, the Australian Government has decided to discontinue business compensation measures that were introduced to provide partial relief from the carbon tax. The programs that have been discontinued are Clean Technology Investment Program, Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program and Clean Technology Innovation Program.

No new applications were accepted from 22 October 2013, and the closure of these programs published on 11 November 2013.

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.

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.

Clean Technology Grants

The latest update from the Minister of Innovation is as follows:

The Gillard Government is helping one of southern Queensland’s major meat manufacturers to invest in new, clean technology to improve its production efficiency and cut energy costs throughout its operations.

A $6.2 million grant from the Gillard Government’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program has been awarded to AJ Bush & Sons for its rendering plant in the Bromelton State Development Area.
The Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet said AJ Bush & Sons would upgrade or replace inefficient coal-fired boilers with high efficiency boilers, reducing the amount of black coal required during the steam raising process.

The company would also cover its anaerobic ponds to capture the methane gas currently emitted and use this as a renewable fuel source to power a new biogas boiler for steam production.
Mr Combet said the measurers would improve energy efficiency and deliver a significant reduction in the company’s direct carbon liability at the Bromelton plant.

“This project will reduce the carbon emissions intensity of AJ Bush & Sons’ steam raising production processes by 64 per cent and cut their energy cost by 46 per cent,” Mr Combet said.
“In order to make the transition to a low pollution economy, manufacturers need to transform their operations by investing in energy efficient equipment and technology.”

The company will match the Government grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Funded by carbon price revenue, the Gillard Government’s $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program has provided a total of $9.3 million in support to date to 12 meat processors, renderers and manufacturers of small goods around the country. The program is open to eligible manufacturers with funding provided over six years from 2011-12.

“The Gillard Government’s Clean Technology Investment Programs provide valuable support to manufacturers looking to improve their operations and competitiveness around Australia. They are an important part of our plan for a clean energy future,” Mr Combet said.

“I encourage manufacturers who are looking to make investments in energy efficient capital equipment to take a look at the guidelines and consider applying.”
For more information, manufacturers can contact AusIndustry on 13 28 46 or visit the website www.ausindustry.gov.au