On 31 October 2014, three new streams within the Entrepreneur’s Infrastructure Programme (EIP) were launched by the Federal Government.
The EIP has three core elements:
- Accelerating Commercialisation – up to $1 million matched 50:50 grant funding available to support commercialisation of novel products, processes and services.
- Business Management – assistance and services to high growth businesses to improve business operations, market opportunities and accelerate growth through one of more of the following four components:
- Business Evaluation
- Supply Chain Facilitation
- Business Growth Services
- Business Growth Grants
- Research Connections – assistance in collaborating with the research sector.
The three new announcements for the EIP (Accelerating Commercialisation, Supply Chain Facilitation and Business Growth Services) together with the existing offerings already launched between 1 July 2014 and 1 September 2014 (Business Evaluation, Business Growth Grant and Research Connection) are summarised below.
The grant supports commercialisation of novel products, processes and services aimed at the proof-of concept prototype phase where first sales have not yet been achieved.
- Matched funding (50:50) is available for grants up to $1 million (no minimum grant amount).
- The novel product, process or service must be commercialised for external sales and/or intended to be traded to third parties.
- There is a ‘need for funding’ criteria, whereby you must demonstrate that you have insufficient financing to fund the entire project.
- Eligible projects must do 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 in Australia or overseas, or
- Drive the business towards commercialisation in the marketplace by engaging an ‘Experienced Executive’ (ie bring in an external expert where the business does not currently employ someone with the skill/knowledge base).
To be eligible for the Business Management streams below, your business must operate in one of the following sectors:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Food and Agribusiness
- Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
- Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
- Oil, Gas and Energy Resources, or
- Enabling Technologies and Services of the sectors listed in (a) – (e) above.
The program incorporates a health check type analysis which will be carried out by an adviser who spends one to two days at your business and prepares an evaluation report to help improve your business operations. The service is free of charge to approved businesses.
Supply Chain Facilitation
Assistance in interacting with and supplying your business into new and existing markets, focusing on identifying improvements and opportunities within a supply chain. The service is free of charge to approved businesses.
There are a number of services within the Supply Chain Facilitation Program:
- Information Services - the opportunity to participate in group learning forums and events to provide an opportunity to improve business networks.
- Supplier Improvement Plan - an advisor will work with you to identify your ability to supply and connect with markets.
- Customer Connections - opportunity to engage with your business’ supply chains or be introduced to new supply chain partners.
Business Growth Services
Assistance to ‘high growth potential’ businesses to develop and embed the capabilities, knowledge, strategies and connections to accelerate growth through access to specialist services, expertise and networks. The service is offered over a period of up to two years, free of charge with an advisor appointed to your business to facilitate the service.
Business Growth Grants
Assistance to businesses which have accessed and completed a Business Evaluation, Supply Chain Facilitation or Business Growth Service to implement recommended improvement plans. Up to $20,000 is available for up to half of the cost of engaging a consultant (matched funding), to make business improvements that were recommended in the evaluation reports generated through the previously accessed services.
Assistance to collaborate with the research sector to develop new ideas with commercial potential, as well as to help identify any knowledge gaps that are preventing business growth. Facilitators will work with your business to assess knowledge gaps and work toward appropriate solution pathways. Up to $50,000 in matched funding may be available once the facilitation period has been completed, to assist in accessing research capabilities.
What does this mean for you?
This is a great opportunity for your business to access government grant funding and support - from start- ups needing that extra boost to SMEs growing current business operations.