Exciting news for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as the Department of Industry, Science and Resources launched the Industry Growth Program’s Advisory Services. Keep reading to learn more about the full story.
Advisory Services via the Industry Growth Program
Applications for the program’s Advisory Services are now open here, offering eligible SMEs an opportunity to access tailored advice and support to foster the expansion of their business operations. The Adviser’s type of engagement and its duration will depend on the nature of the business’ project. The Advisory Service will provide eligible SMEs with guidance in the following forms.
- Tailored strategies for commercialisation and growth, including validation of proposed business models.
- Financial navigation, including guidance on funding avenues, potential investors, and effective capital-raising strategies.
- Building networks and establishing collaborative partnerships.
Why apply for the Advisory Service?
Not only can you receive invaluable (free) advice to grow your business, but it is important to note that participation in the Advisory Service is a prerequisite for access to the program’s upcoming grant opportunities, which are slated to open in 2024. These grant opportunities include the:
- Early-Stage Boost grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to support early-stage commercialisation projects, and
- Scaling Up grants ranging from $100,000 to $5 million for commercialisation and growth endeavours.
Who is this for?
Eligibility criteria dictate that businesses must be actively engaged in commercialisation or growth projects aligned with the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) priority areas. These priority areas include:
- Renewables and Low Emissions Technologies
- Medical Science
- Value-Add in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Sectors
- Value-Add in Resources
- Defence Capability
- Enabling Capabilities
The Industry Growth Program is designed to bolster small and medium enterprises engaged in groundbreaking commercialisation and growth initiatives within the priority areas of the NRF. Through this program, businesses will gain access to Advisory Services, providing crucial support in overcoming challenges associated with their projects.
Key Program Criteria:
1. Innovative Definition:
- An innovative product, process, or service is deemed as new, unique, or significantly different from existing offerings in the market or industry where it is intended to be sold or traded.
- It involves substantial enhancements or developments that enable scalable transformation.
- Minor changes or improvements to existing products or services do not qualify as innovative.
2. Early-stage Commercialisation Projects:
- Encompass the journey from feasibility studies and proof-of-concept development to early prototype production and testing in a simulated or theoretical environment.
- Testing validates the commercial viability, with reference to scales such as Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). Early-stage projects broadly cover TRL3 to TRL6.
3. Commercialisation and Growth Projects:
- Include projects demonstrating the completion of feasibility studies and proof-of-concept.
- Encompass the development journey from early prototyping to actual application in its final form, scaling up to full-rate production, and expanding into new markets. Reference scales such as Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), with projects broadly covering TRL4 to TRL9.
- Routine business growth is not covered by the program.
Participating businesses are eligible to apply for matched grant funding to support their commercialisation and/or growth projects.
The program aligns with the NRF’s mission to drive investment in projects that enhance Australia’s industry capability, contributing to the transformation of the nation’s industry and economy.
Determine Your Eligibility
Ensure your eligibility before applying by reviewing the set criteria. These criteria are guidelines that define who is considered for the Advisory Service. You are eligible to apply if:
1. You represent an eligible entity.
To be eligible for consideration, you should meet the following criteria:
- Maintain a collective annual turnover of under $20 million for each of the three financial years preceding the submission of the application.
- Possess an Australian business number (ABN).
- Be non-exempt from income tax and be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- Additionally, you must fall into one of the following categories:
- A company that is incorporated in Australia.
- A co-operative entity.
- An incorporated trustee submitting an application on behalf of a trust.
Ineligible applicants include:
- Organisations or their project partners listed on the National Redress Scheme’s roster of non-participating or non-committed institutions.
- Employers with 100 or more employees failing to comply with the Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012).
- Trusts (with the exception of applications submitted by an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust).
- Commonwealth, state, or local government agencies or bodies, including government business enterprises.
2. Your innovative product, process, or service aligns with the NRF priority areas.
An inventive product, process, or service must meet one of the following criteria:
- It is novel, unique, or markedly distinct from any previously existing product, process, or service within the targeted market or industry for the intended sale or trade of the product.
- It encompasses substantial improvements or advancements in current products, processes, or services, facilitating business scalability and transformation.
It’s important to note that minor alterations or enhancements to existing products, processes, or services do not qualify as innovative.
Feel free to submit your application at any point throughout the program’s duration.
Ensure the application is completed by an authorised representative of your business.
Before starting the application for the Advisory Service, it’s crucial to thoroughly review the program information guide.
When prepared to proceed:
- Submission Method: Utilise the online portal for application submission.
- Account Setup: Upon your initial portal login, establish an account for application management.
Should you wish to assess your eligibility and suitability for various grants and programs, Fullstack invites you to talk with our R&D grants & incentives team.