Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund

What is the Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund?

The Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund is an initiative that supports proposals that build industry research and development (R&D) capability in South Australia, advance scientific research, increase commercialisation of R&D and help South Australian entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market.

The Fund is managed by the Department for Industry and Skills.



The objective of the $28 million Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund is to contribute to economic growth by supporting collaboration between enterprise, researchers and universities and the commercialisation of new products and services, building research and research infrastructure capability in South Australia through increased investment and encourage the establishment and growth of startups.

The success of the Fund’s objective will be measured by the following outcomes:

  • Increased investment in South Australian research and research infrastructure
  • Increased business expenditure on research and development
  • More commercialisation of research and intellectual property
  • Higher number of business startups per capita
  • Higher number of start-up businesses that are growing (scale ups)
  • More venture capital investment in South Australia.



STREAM 1 – Strategic Research Initiatives 

This stream aims to support research initiatives that will create innovative solutions or translate research into industry or commercial outcomes that address economy-wide challenges for South Australia. This could include (but is not limited to):

  • Initiatives that leverage investment to build R&D capabilities in South Australia 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 South 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 (e.g. Grains Research and Development Corporation).
  • Support for consortia to address research challenges of strategic importance and critical need for South Australia.
  • Supporting research into the South 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.

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

STREAM 2 – Startup and Early Stage Company Incentive

This stream provides participants with access to funding to grow their innovative early-stage business and has three entry pathways:

  • Bootstrap pathway – Founders can apply through this entry pathway for financial support to fund the early stages of their startup.
    • Grant amount: Minimum $20,000 up to $100,000
    • Matching funding: 1:1
    • Applicant: Founder/CEO
  • Incubator pathway – Founders can partner with incubators, accelerators or a value-add investor for financial support to fund the early stages of their startup.
    • Grant amount: Minimum $20,000 up to $100,000
    • Matching funding: 2:1
    • Applicant: Founder and partner (incubator, accelerator or value-add investor)
    • Specific Criteria: Minimum partner investment of 50% cash towards the matched funding
  • Scale-up pathway – This pathway provides co-investment alongside private funding and is designed for companies that are addressing a known gap in the market with significant private investment. This pathway is also open to applicants that have received previous funding through either the bootstrap or incubator pathway.
    • Grant amount: Minimum $100,001 up to $1,000,000
    • Matched funding: 1:1 (at least 50% provided by investors)
    • Applicant: Founder and Investor(s)
    • Sub-stream Specific Criteria: Signed investor agreement

STREAM 3 – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem Initiatives

This stream aims to build South Australia’s startup ecosystem by supporting programs, events and activities that have broad benefit to the startup community such as:

  • Attracting high calibre experts to serve as entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • Attracting accelerator/incubator support funding from the Commonwealth Government and/or the private sector
  • Facilitating startup delegations to visit key investor or customer markets
  • Raising awareness of startup investment amongst angel investment groups
  • Strengthening entrepreneurship learning and development
  • Hosting nationally significant conferences that recognise and showcase the work of startups, entrepreneurs and future industries
  • Growing regional startup communities.

Whilst this stream is open to expressions of interest on an ongoing basis, specific calls for proposals may be invited at any time by the Department for Industry and Skills to address specific priorities or seek comprehensive proposals that address a number of initiatives.

Minimum grant: $20,000
Maximum grant: $500,000
Maximum project duration: Three years


Eligible Projects

All projects funded through the Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund must meet the following Industry financial assistance principles:

  • The project introduces significant new technologies, capabilities, capacities and expertise that broaden the base of the South Australian economy or creates net additional employment in industries aligned to the State’s competitive and/or comparative advantages
  • The investment would not otherwise occur without financial support from the State 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 State 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.


Eligible Applicants

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

  • Business (including not-for-profits)
  • Business / industry association
  • University
  • Independent research institute
  • State Government research institute.

Applicants must be financially viable, registered for GST and have an Australian Business Number. If located outside South 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 South Australia.



Applications open on an ongoing basis.


More Information

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