Innovation Connections

Up to $50,000 is available under the Innovation Connections initiative to help SMEs connect with researchers and foster innovation.

Innovation Connections

Innovation Connections

The Innovation Connections initiative will expand and refocus the existing Research Connections programme to drive new industry-led collaborations between researchers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The partnerships will foster the development of new ideas with commercial potential and will identify the knowledge gaps preventing business growth.

Innovation Connections supported by the Australian Government through its Entrepreneurs’ Programme.



Australia’s collaboration on innovation between industry and the research/higher education sector is the lowest in the OECD. Australia is missing out on world first innovation, local jobs growth and global competitiveness opportunities that are stimulated by greater collaboration and workforce mobility between the industry and research sectors.

The Australian Government is working to relaunch Research Connections as Innovation Connections with an expanded reach through the addition of 8 new Innovation Facilitators located across metro and regional Australia.  Furthermore, there will be an addition of 2 new grant components to further support collaborative research between business and the research sector, namely the placement of Industry Graduates and Business Researchers.



The Innovation Connections programme will:

  • provide more Facilitators so more businesses can access Australia’s innovation infrastructure, particularly in regional areas
  • make matched grants available to support graduate and postgraduate researchers placements in businesses
  • make matched grants available to support business researchers to be placed in publicly funded research organisations
  • identify opportunities to access research and development and testing facilities and develop specialised training options by working more closely with the vocational education and training sector.


Innovation Connections Facilitation

An Innovation Facilitator will help you to assess the gaps in your business knowledge and provide specialist support. There are two types of facilitations available:

  • Technology Facilitation – helps your business to identify new technology, knowledge and expertise
  • Research Facilitation – helps your business to identify critical and strategic research needs and pathways to engage and collaborate with the research sector.

At the end of the engagement, you will be provided with a Facilitation Report that outlines your business’ needs and opportunities. Based on the nature of your enquiry, the report will either recommend off-the-shelf technologies or collaborative research projects. For research projects, you will be able to apply for an Innovation Connections Grant to help co-fund the collaboration.


Innovation Connections Grant

Following a Research Facilitation, you can apply for an Innovation Connections Grant to undertake a research project that addresses the recommendations made in the Facilitation Report.

Research projects must be in collaboration with a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO) and should develop a new idea with commercial potential. Your Innovation Facilitator will help you decide which three available grants will suit your business needs:

  • Researcher Placement – placing a researcher in your business (up to a maximum of $50,000)
  • Business Researcher Placement – placing a researcher from your business into a PFRO (up to a maximum of $50,000)
  • Graduate Placement – employing a graduate or post-graduate with a relevant degree into your business to work on a specific Innovation Connections project (up to a maximum of $30,000).



Innovation Connections Facilitation

To be eligible for an Innovation Connections Facilitation, your business must:

  • be a solvent, for-profit, non-tax exempt company that is registered for GST and incorporated and operating in Australia
  • be a company with trading activities that are the majority of its overall activities
  • have filed Business Activity Statements showing ongoing trading in at least three successive years
  • have an annual turnover or operating expenditure in the current or one of the two previous financial years:
    • between $1.5 million and $100 million or
    • between $750,000 and $100 million for applicants from remote Australia or Northern Australia
  • not have received an Innovation Connections Facilitation before
  • satisfy one of the following:
    • be operating in one or more growth sectors:
      • advanced manufacturing
      • food and agribusiness
      • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
      • mining equipment, technology and services
      • oil, gas and energy resources, or
    • provide enabling technologies or services to one or more of the growth sectors, or
    • show commitment to, and have the skills, capability, intellectual property or expertise to operate in, one of the growth sectors in the future.

You cannot apply if you are:

  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • a trust (however, an incorporated trustee that meets the trading activity requirements above may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a Commonwealth, State or Local Government agency or body (including government business enterprises)
  • named by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an organisation that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).

Innovation Connections Grant

To be eligible for an Innovation Connections Grant, your business must:

  • have received an Innovation Facilitation Report
  • apply within 12 months of receiving the report
  • be able to fund the total project costs, as the grant is paid after completion of the project
  • not use in-kind contributions or funds from other government grants or programmes to cover the project costs
  • not have received a grant in the last five years, unless a supplementary grant is permitted by the Programme Guidelines.



For Innovation Connections Facilitation, applications may be made at any time.

For Innovation Connections Grant, applications must be made within 12 months of receiving an Innovation Facilitation Report.



Below is list of organisations that have received the funding so far.

  1. Ampcontrol CSM
  2. Anatomics
  3. Apollo Medical Imaging Technology
  4. Armaron Bio
  5. Austex Dies
  6. Australian Bay Lobster Producers
  7. Australian National University
  8. Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
  9. Australian Orthopaedic Fixations
  10. Bale Defence Industries
  11. Banlaw
  12. Bond University
  13. Breseight Australia
  14. Capsugel Australia
  15. Cellmid
  16. Central Queensland University
  17. Charles Darwin University
  18. Clarinox Technologies
  19. Clarity Pharmaceuticals
  20. Clean Seas Aquaculture Growout
  21. CSIRO
  22. Curtin University
  23. Dan Everson
  24. Deakin University
  25. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Qld)
  26. Department of Primary Industries and Regions
  27. DHI Water and Environment
  28. Dorsavi
  29. EC Sustainbable
  30. Edith Cowan University
  31. Enretech Australasia
  32. Enviro Frontier
  33. Enviropacific Services
  34. Genea Biomedx
  35. Granular Products
  36. Griffith University
  37. Hatchtech
  38. ICT International
  39. Industry Code
  40. Intelfuse
  41. Interaction Australia
  42. IVR Group
  43. James Cook University
  44. La Trobe University
  45. Laserbond
  46. Lawley Pharmaceuticals
  47. Longreach Plant Breeders Management
  48. Lowes Tc
  49. Macquarie University
  50. Medibio
  51. Melvelle Equipment Corp.
  52. Mineral Carbonation International
  53. Minetec
  54. MOG Laboratories
  55. Monash University
  56. MOS Technologies
  57. Mount Sylvia Diatomite
  58. Multiskilled Resources Australia
  59. Noxopharm
  60. Nuchev
  61. Pacific Environment
  62. Polyactiva
  63. Premier Rock Machinery
  64. Prime Biologics
  65. Proteomics International
  66. Q Sera
  67. Queensland University of Technology
  68. R.R. Taylor
  69. Rapid Phenotyping
  70. Rassure
  71. Riviera Australia
  72. Robot Systems
  73. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  74. Sano Health
  75. Sentek
  76. SOS Technology Group
  77. Southern Cross University
  78. Speedx
  79. Sungear Australia
  80. Swinburne University of Technology
  81. Telethon Kids Institute
  82. Terragen Biotech
  83. The Australian Wine Research Institute
  84. The Garvan Institute of Medical Research
  85. The Product Makers (Australia)
  86. The University of Adelaide
  87. The University of Newcastle
  88. The University of Queensland
  89. The University of Sydney
  90. The University of Western Australia
  91. Truscreen
  92. Two Bulls Holdings
  93. Uav Vision
  94. Unityhealth
  95. University of Canberra
  96. University of Melbourne
  97. University of New England
  98. University of New South Wales
  99. University of South Australia
  100. University of Southern Queensland
  101. University of Sydney
  102. University of Tasmania
  103. University of Technology Sydney
  104. University of The Sunshine Coast
  105. University of Western Australia
  106. University of Wollongong
  107. UVS
  108. Victoria University
  109. Waterwerx
  110. Western Sydney University
  111. Zhik


More Information

2018-06-10T20:48:08+00:00June 5th, 2018|