New grant program for SMEs – Industry Growth Program

The Federal Government has recently opened a new grant program designed to support startups and SMEs undertaking commercialisation and/or growth projects.

The new grant program is conceptually very similar to the Coalition’s Accelerating Commercialisation grant program, which was embroiled in controversy following an Australian National Audit Office investigation, and which was cancelled in the May budget earlier this year.

The new program sees the Department of Industry, Science and Resources providing $392.4 million worth of grants. The minimum grant amount is $50,000 and the maximum grant amount is $5 million, and these funds will need to be matched by the business.  It is noted that the maximum grant is five times greater than what was offered by the Accelerating Commercialisation grant program.

The commercialisation project must relate to one of the following ‘priority areas’:

  1. Enabling capabilities (including artificial intelligence technologies, advanced information or communication technologies, autonomous systems, etc.)
  2. Renewables and low emission technologies
  3. Defence capability
  4. Transport
  5. Medical science
  6. Value-add in resources
  7. Value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

One of the key differences about the new program is that applicants must first be connected with an Industry Growth Program Adviser who will provide tailored advice about the project.  Only once the advice has been provided can the business then apply for the grant funding.  This advisory component of the program is what has recently opened, with applications for grant funding only opening in 2024.

If you would like to know more about this or any other government incentives in Australia, please get in touch to arrange a discussion.

By Dave Corbin, Managing Director of Catalyst Solutions Australia.

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