As already reported in an October article, the third and final leg of the Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme (EIP) – Accelerating Commercialisation – is gearing up to make available funding to bridge the “’valley of death’ between R&D and commercial viability”.

What is available to whom?

Depending on the status of the applicant and stage of the project, and provided there is an ability to   co-fund 50% of expenditure, between $250,000 and $1 million may be available to successful applicants in grant money. Applicants only qualify if their three year historical annual turnover is below an average of $20 million and if they can show ownership, access or beneficial use of any intellectual property (IP) necessary in the project.

Will my project qualify?

It is important to note that funding is aimed at commercialisation of novel IP in the form of a novel product, process or service. Funding will not be provided to:

  • basic R&D;
  • projects where a first product has already been sold; and
  • projects enhancing existing products.

Rather, funding is aimed at projects with one of the following objectives:

  • Finalising development of a novel product, process or service;
  • Establishing commercial viability to third parties such as investors, clients or partners; or
  • Selling the first product.

Does the grant cover IP expenditure?

Yes, expenditure by the applicant on owned or future-owned IP is covered. Although costs associated with defending IP are excluded, other legal fees and costs related to the protection of project IP are eligible expenditure. Only costs falling within the project period, which is restricted to two years, will qualify.

What other costs may be recovered?

Expenditure relating to labour, contracts, plants (including state-of the art manufacturing plants and pilot manufacturing plants) and prototypes could potentially also qualify as eligible expenditure.

It’s not only about the money.

EIP’s Accelerating Commercialisation also offers prospective applicants guidance on the application process, and, once a project has been approved, applicants will have access to specialist assistance to support their commercialisation efforts. Networking opportunities for successful applicants will extend to interactions with an “Expert Network” which includes external professionals and advisors. For interested third parties, information on successful applicants will also be made available by the EIP.

More information on the program is available here.