Global Connections Fund Bridging Grants (GCF BG)

Up to $50,000 is available from Bridging Grants to support researcher-SME partnerships globally with the range of early research translation/commercialisation activities.


Global Connections Fund Bridging Grants (GCF BG)

The Global Connections Fund Bridging Grants (GCF BG) are a program of assistance that targets early stage proof of concept and knowledge transfer, product development and market testing, innovation and commercialisation activities. They are designed to support international SME-Researcher partnerships grow beyond an initial level of engagement such as might be developed during a Priming Grant funded process, into a strong collaboration which leads to the translation of research knowledge and intellectual property into market ready products or services.



The Global Connections Fund Bridging Grants (GCF BG) program is administered by the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. This initiative aligns with the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

It is not a pre-requisite to have had a Priming Grant previously in order to apply for a Bridging Grant. The timing of Priming and Bridging Grant calls are not linked as a natural progression between the two. Further information on this is provided in the FAQ section on the GCF website.


Bridging Grants Priority Areas

The priority areas that are the focus of Bridging Grant activity reflect the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre priorities and are consistent with the Australian National Science and Research Priorities.  These are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources



The Bridging Grants provide between AUD25,000 to AUD50,000 per grant. They are highly competitive and are additionally supported on a matching funds/in-kind basis of additional resources from the applicant partners.

Grant applications for less than $25,000 will not be considered eligible.


Eligible Projects

Eligible activities include:

  • Product and service development activities (e.g. technical development, compliance testing, proof of concept, product testing, validation, laboratory verification and certification)
  • Product or services design (e.g. design work, prototyping, innovation design, manufacturing establishment)
  • Software development and beta testing for a specific application
  • Market testing and analysis, small run supply of prototypes for testing and evaluation
  • IP scanning: Freedom to Operate searches and provisional patent applications. Expenses for these IP related items are capped at AUD 5,000
  • A limited travel component to enable specific project activities to occur. This amount is capped at AUD3,000


Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be an Australian Researcher or an Australian-incorporated SME and have a proposal supporting an international SME-Researcher partnership.

Only the following partnership collaborations are supported:

  • Australian SMEs looking to partner with Researchers in a priority listed economy.
  • Australian Researchers seeking to partner with International SMEs in a priority listed economy.

Applicants can only submit one Bridging Grant application, and only one application per research group or SME will be considered.

The applicant must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident and living in Australia at the time of submitting the grant application. If successful, Bridging Grant applicants will need to provide proof of citizenship or permanent residency if requested, as a condition of receiving funds.

SME applicants must meet the definition of an SME, which is the term used to refer to microbusinesses, small businesses and medium sized firms. A small business has less than 20 employees, a medium business has between 20 and 199 employees and SMEs have less than 200 employees.

SME applicants:

  • must be incorporated as a Pty Ltd or Ltd entity
  • must have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • must be incorporated and registered for GST
  • must not be set up as a trust structure
  • must not be a sole trader
  • must not be engaged in any litigation, arbitration, administrative proceedings, investigations, of or before any court, tribunal, commission, arbitral body or other agency in any jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Australia (for enterprises based in Australia) or in the nominated priority economy



Applications close 1st July 2019.


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