Australia’s Economic Accelerator

What is the Australia’s Economic Accelerator?

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) supports researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to accelerate their progress with funding from the Australian Government. There is limited detail on the program but this is what Bulletpoint expects the program will look like.


Background

Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) is a new research funding program designed to shift the dial on Australian research by supporting the translation and commercialisation of our world leading research in the university sector. The AEA will help create a research ecosystem where our world-class research is translated into real world innovations and productivity gains.

From July 2022, the AEA will operate as a priority-driven grant program to support projects aligned with the six National Manufacturing Priorities with high commercial opportunity. The current priority areas are:

  • Space
  • Medical products
  • Resources technology and critical minerals processing
  • Food and beverage
  • Defence, and
  • Recycling and clean energy.

Industry Investment Principles

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator project is focussed on at least one of the six identified growth sectors from the National Manufacturing Priorities.

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator project will enable at least one of the following:

  • Drive high paying and sustainable jobs
  • Attract and retain young wealth creators
  • Lead to the growth or creation of value-added products and service industries
  • Drive export industries’ productivity efficiency and capacity

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator investment would not otherwise occur without financial support from the Federal Government.

There should not be displacement of existing businesses as a result of the project proceeding. The financial support is transitional, and the project is financially sustainable over time without the need for further Federal Government financial support. The quantum of financial support provided is appropriate given the economic benefits that are delivered. The financial support is conditional on the recipient meeting agreed milestones and outcomes.


Australia’s Economic Accelerator Investment Principles

The Federal Government utilises the Australia’s Economic Accelerator to support initiatives to its strategic plans National Manufacturing Priorities.


Seed Program

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator Seed program equips innovative, early-stage Australian startups with grant funding to support the commercialisation of an innovative product or service. This product or service must be unique and demonstrate a sustainable competitive advantage in national and international markets.


Innovation Program

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator Innovation Program supports programs, events and activities that have broad benefit to the start-up community.

Grants of between $20,000 and $500,000 are available to fund eligible activity with a maximum project duration of three years. Matched funding requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Specific calls for Australia’s Economic Accelerator proposals may be invited at any time by the Department for Innovation and Skills to address specific priorities or seek comprehensive proposals that address a number of initiatives.


Research Program

The Australia’s Economic Accelerator research program supports research initiatives that will create innovative solutions or translate research into industry or commercial outcomes that address economy-wide challenges for Australia.

Funding will be awarded through calls for proposals to address specific initiatives. The details of timing, funding available and grant guidelines will be specified with each call.

  •  Initiatives that leverage investment to build R&D capabilities from Commonwealth Government programs such as (but not limited to)  the Cooperative Research Centre program, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence program, Medical Research Future Fund Initiatives and Australian Renewable Energy Agency grants
  • initiatives that leverage investment into Australia from national research organisations including (but not limited to): Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Defence Science and Technology Group and Rural Research and Development Corporations (for example, Grains Research and Development Corporation)
  • support for consortia to address research challenges of strategic importance and critical need for Australia research into the Australian financial services sector (and encouraging interdisciplinary research), assisting the development of new financial services, technologies and products
  • novel research translation and commercialisation initiatives or platforms.

Calls for Australia’s Economic Accelerator proposals to address specific initiatives will be announced with details of timing and funding to be specified with each round.

  • Minimum grant: $50,000
  • Maximum grant: $2,000,000
  • Maximum project duration: Four years

Additional eligibility criteria

Further requirements for Australia’s Economic Accelerator funding including the amount of funding available will be detailed in each call for proposals. Requirements for matched funding will be at the discretion of the Minister, having regard to the public benefit of the strategic research initiative. This level of matched funding will be detailed when calls are made for proposals to address specific initiatives.

When required, eligible organisations will be further detailed in each call for proposals.

For example, organisations seeking to leverage Commonwealth Government programs will only be eligible if suitable for relevant Commonwealth Government funding programs. Bid or grant application support is ineligible for funding through this stream.


Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must be an Australian-based legal entity that is one of the following:

  • business (including not-for-profits)
  • business / industry association
  • university
  • independent research institute
  • Australian Government research institute.

Applicants must be financially viable, registered for GST and have an Australian Business Number. If located outside Australia, there may be special circumstances which merit consideration of the applicant and there is a commitment to relocate and maintain the relevant enterprise (in whole or part) in Australia.


Eligible projects

Eligible Australia’s Economic Accelerator initiatives include:

  • projects that provide innovative solutions or translate research into commercial outcomes that address economy-wide challenges for Australia
  • initiatives that increase the level of national funding for Australian research and research infrastructure
  • research collaborations that result in new financial services technologies or products
  • initiatives that support the establishment and growth of startups to scale-ups
  • initiatives that encourage and promote investment into Australia’s startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Australia’s Economic Accelerator Proposals will not be considered where:

  • they are conducted outside of Australia, unless there are special circumstances
  • there is no clear evidence of industry participation or involvement
  • they are already committed, or retrospective funding is sought
  • significant funding is sought towards the cost of developing a proposal
  • they have already received funding from the Australian Government, or require ongoing government funding
  • they are better suited to any other funding sources

Eligible Expenditure

Unless stated elsewhere in these Australia’s Economic Accelerator guidelines, applicants will need to provide matched funding at least equal to the grant amount sought from the Australia’s Economic Accelerator. In-kind funding (other than sunk costs) may be considered as matched funding, however preference will be given to proposals that include a financial contribution.

Eligible expenditure includes:

  • salaries and consumables directly attributed or critical to the delivery to the execution of the project
  • accessing specialist professional services
  • access to and acquisition of specialist equipment, hardware and software
  • accessing or protecting intellectual property rights
  • prototyping and development of a Minimum Viable Product
  • scholarships, study tours, undertaking market research/testing and engaging with major customers and investors
  • data procurement and efforts to obtain regulatory approval.

Ineligible expenditure includes:

  • rent or other property fees
  • salaries for business founders (unless these are essential to the execution of the project, for example unique technical skills/knowledge)
  • recruitment and procurement fees
  • basic office supplies and equipment
  • grant application or administration costs
  • university administration/infrastructure levies
  • any other activities as determined by the Australian Government that are the usual requirement of business.

More Information

Latest News

The Australian Government is investing $1.6 billion in the higher education sector for translation and commercialisation research capacity. A new stage-gated funding program, Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA), has been established. Supported by expert governance arrangements, the AEA program will develop a pipeline from discovery through to commercialisation.

From July 2022, the AEA will operate as a priority-driven grant program to support projects aligned with the six National Manufacturing Priorities with high commercial opportunity. The current priority areas are:

  • Space
  • Medical products
  • Resources technology and critical minerals processing
  • Food and beverage
  • Defence, and
  • Recycling and clean energy.

Source

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