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Issue 0027 Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program has been developed by the Federal government to drive business growth and competitiveness through support for business improvement and promoting economic growth through research, connections and commercialisation of novel products, processes and services.

Accelerating Commercialisation

Last week, the government released its final grant program within Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program – Accelerating Commercialisation.

The aim of the grant

Entrepreneur ProgramAccelerating Commercialisation contributes to Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program’s objectives by:

  • Accelerating the commercialisation of novel intellectual property in the form of novel products, processes and services.
  • Creating new businesses based on novel intellectual property with high growth potential and facilitating greater commercial and economic returns both from public and private research.
  • Develop investment to drive business growth and competitiveness.

Accelerating Commercialisation works by providing applicants with expert guidance and connections, through commercialisation advisers, by helping applicants to find the right commercial solutions for their novel product, process or service. Grants of up to $1million are available on a 50% basis for all applicants, except commercialisation offices and eligible partner entities. Grants of up to $250,000 are available for commercialisation offices and eligible partner entities on a 50% basis. The Accelerating Commercialisation grant works through commercialisation advisers, who can guide an applicant through the commercialisation process. The advisers have extensive experience in commercialisation and have good networks within industries. Commercialisation advisers are independent professional advisers who will guide applicants along the pathway to commercialising their intellectual property.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must have a combined turnover of $0 to $20million on a group basis, for each of the last three years prior to the lodgement of the application. The applicant must have ownership or access to the beneficial use of any intellectual property that is necessary to carry out the project. The applicant must be able to demonstrate its ability to fund at least 50% of the eligible expenditure of the project. It’s not necessary to have all of the funding available at the beginning of the project, which can be completed over two years. In some instances, Accelerating Commercialisation assistance can be provided to an individual or a researcher before a company is formed. These projects are likely to be relatively small and geared towards initially proving commercial viability or investment readiness. Grant funding is to assist the final development and market testing of the product, process or service, to assist in sales maximisation. Eligible projects are required to achieve at least one of the following:

  • Complete development of a novel product, process or service.
  • Prove commercial viability of a novel product, process or service to a customer, investor or strategic partner.
  • Make the first sales of the novel product, process or service in Australia or overseas.
  • Drive the business towards commercialisation of its novel product, process or service in the marketplace by engaging an experienced executive.

All applicants must satisfy a merit criteria. The first merit criteria is need for funding. Applicants need to demonstrate that they do, in fact, require the funding from the Federal government. The other merit criterion categories are:

  • market opportunity
  • value proposition
  • execution plan
  • management capability
  • national benefit

All other merit criteria, apart from need for funding, are weighed equally. Additional credit is provided under the National Benefits Criterion, to applicants who have eligible projects within the Federal government’s nominated growth sectors. The Federal government has nominated five key industries as the growth sectors for the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program. These are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

Alternatively, the business could be engaged in enabling technologies and services provided for any one of these five key industries in the growth sector by businesses operating in the following industries:

  • Freight and Logistics
  • Infrastructure Related Construction
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Professional Services

Research Connections

Another program within the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program is Research Connections.

The aim of the grant

The program is to help small/medium enterprises to collaborate with the research sector, to develop new ideas with commercial potential.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be a company and must be operating in one of the following growth sectors, identified by the Federal government:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

Alternatively, the business could be engaged in enabling technologies and services for one of these five growth sectors provided by businesses operating within the following industries:

  • Freight and Logistics
  • Infrastructure Related Construction
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Professional Services (primarily scientific-related services)

The applicant must have an annual turnover of $1.5million to $100million in one of the two proceeding financial years. Grants of up to $50,000 are available on a 50% grant basis.

Business Growth Grant

The other grant within the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program is Business Growth Grant. The grant is available for companies or corporate trustees, which operate in the same growth sector industries as announced by the government. Companies must have a minimum turnover of $1.5million and maximum turnover of $100million. Grants of up to $20,000 are available on a 50% basis, to undertake virtually any type of work, which will improve the business’ performance. Business evaluations are delivered at no charge to individual businesses. Experienced business advisers have been hired by the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program. These advisers visit the businesses to understand and review how the business is run and identify areas of improvement. After the business evaluation is completed, an evaluation report, with recommendations on how to improve the business operations, will be given to the business owner. Once the business operator has received the business evaluation report, the business operator can then elect to proceed with the government grant offer and select individual business advisers and consultants to undertake the work that has been specified within the business evaluation report.

Accountants can assist

Accountants, who are offering business advisory services and grant advice assistance, can assist their small/medium enterprise clients to navigate grants that are available to assist them in their business. If you’re interested in having a discussion with your accountant on the three levels of grants provided by the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program, as detailed in this article, please make an appointment to talk to your accountant and discuss the issue with him/her. If your accountant is unable to assist you in identifying the government grants for which you might be eligible and assisting you in the grant application process, please don’t hesitate to send an email to , with your location and postcode, and we will send you the names of accountants, within your area, who are able to provide you with this service. As a preview of the types of services accounting firms, subscribed to ESS BIZTOOLS, can provide, a complimentary copy of the article ‘Using Government Grants to Fund Your Business Improvement’ is attached with this transcript.  

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