It’s no secret that many Aussie SME business owners have been hit hard during COVID. Federal and state governments have responded with a number of grants, incentives and schemes to help businesses get back on their feet; but there are several exciting programs out there that many entrepreneurs simply don’t know about. The Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme may be one of them.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme is a $400 million initiative designed to transform Australian businesses through specialised mentorship and access to grants. One of these grants is the Accelerating Commercialisation grant, which provides small-medium business owners, entrepreneurs and researchers with access of up to $1 million of funding and expert advice to help get a novel product, process or service to market.
The Accelerating Commercialisation Grant is a competitive and indefinite fund coordinated by the Australian Government as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. Since 2015, the grant has been funding projects in various industries with up to $1 million each and continues to fund new rounds in 6 to 8-week cycles. If your business has a product, process or service significantly different to any previous innovation in the market, then you may be eligible to receive the funding.
What does the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant include?
Through the program, the Australian Government is helping entrepreneurs and businesses to strengthen, grow, innovate, and commercialise. It does this by connecting businesses and individuals with the networks, mentorship and funding they need to grow in both Australian and international markets.
Successful applicants will first receive expert advice and guidance from the program’s delivery partners, before becoming eligible to apply for a grant between $50,000 and $1 million to fund 50% of their commercialisation project. The delivery partners are experienced businesspeople and can assist by assessing your needs, accessing expertise, exploring alternative means of funding, and developing your professional networks.
Are you eligible for the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant?
To receive the funding, an eligible project must:
- Have a novel product, process, or service that you wish to commercialise for trade
- Have an annual turnover of less than $20 million for each of the previous 3 financial years
- Have the ownership, access or beneficial use of any intellectual property you need to undertake the commercialisation project.
What can the funding from the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant be used for?
The funding may be used for activities such as:
- Engaging consultants to confirm the market opportunity, develop the business model, identify potential partners, develop an IP strategy or raise capital
- Completing development to bridge the gap between R&D and a market-ready product
- Proving commercial viability
- Making first sales.
How long does the application process for the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant take?
The application process has been known to take 4 to 12 months, or even longer depending on the time and effort the business invests in its application. The application process is no stroll in the park, but applicants usually report that they have found it worthwhile for strategy and planning, even in cases where they do not go on to receive the grant.
The good news is that the commercialisation advisors are there to help guide you. Our superstar BlueRock Grants and Incentives team can also help to take the weight off your shoulders with expert advice and insights!
How to apply for the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant
Before applying for the program, please refer to the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant Opportunity Guidelines. You must first receive Commercialisation Guidance advice and recommendations from a facilitator prior to applying for the grant, which you can receive by submitting an Expression of Interest form. The facilitator will provide you with initial guidance on your commercialisation project and recommend whether your project is suitable for the grant.
Once the facilitator has recommended you apply for the grant, you can apply for the initiative by submitting the required documentation. The assessing committee will evaluate your application against other applicants on the following criteria:
- Need for funding
- Market opportunity
- Value proposition
- Execution plan
- Management capability
- National benefits
If you are successful, the fund will make an initial payment and with subsequent payments quarterly in advance of forecasted expenditure.
If you have any questions on your eligibility, or require advice and guidance on preparing your application, which will require several supporting documents, feel free to get in touch with our Melbourne-based grants and government incentive experts.
Alternatively, if you are still in the research and development phase of your product, process or service, our team can also assist you in registering the project as part of the R&D Tax Incentive Scheme to claim up to 43.5% of your expenditure as a refundable tax offset.
Or, if you are a successful grant recipient and are keen to get support from digital experts on the most effective strategy and technology to transform your business, get in contact with our BlueRock Digital team. The BlueRock Digital team partners with industry-leading software products to bring SMEs best-in-class solutions for efficiency and growth, with great advice and support along the way.