Up to $500,000 is available under the SAECF to assist SA’s entrepreneurs and innovative organisations looking to commercialise novel products and services.
South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund (SAECF)
The South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund (SAECF) is a competitive grant program established by the South Australian Government to assist South Australian technology companies, university research commercialisation organisations and entrepreneurs to commercialise their intellectual property (IP). The program provides project-specific grant support aimed at assisting early-stage South Australian projects and start-up companies to achieve key milestones and develop their businesses. The SAECF grant will also assist businesses based interstate or overseas intending to commercialise and develop their project in South Australia. TechInSA and the SAECF Independent Assessment Panel (Panel)(comprising of independent experts) may also provide advice/in-kind support in addition to any grants awarded.
TechInSA is a South Australian government funded organisation tasked with fostering the growth and development of the high-tech industry to support economic activity in South Australia.
Applicants may apply for grants of up to a maximum of $500,000 + GST per project from the SAECF, which may be provided in tranches, be subject to achievement of project milestones and must be expended within a specified time frame. The three main phases of funding (and expected matched funding which may be required in most cases) under the SAECF are as follows:
- Phase 1: Proof-of-concept (Up to $50,000 on a 3:1 basis) ($3 of SAECF funding for every $1 contributed)
- Phase 2: Product Development (Up to $150,000 on a 2:1 basis) ($2 of SAECF funding for every $1 contributed)
- Phase 3: Early Commercialisation (Up to $300,000 on a 1:1 basis) ($1 of SAECF funding for every $1 contributed)
Examples of eligible expenditure under the SAECF program for each of the three phases include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Proof-of-concept: Access to and/or protection of intellectual property rights; technical prototyping & development of a minimum viable product; field tests/demonstrations to prove technical feasibility; access to specialist technical equipment/facilities; commissioning market research and testing (including competitor analysis); proving commercial viability by engaging with major customers/potential partners/investors, or developing a plan for regulatory approval.
- Product Development: Evolution/completion of development of final product/process/service; access to specialist manufacturing equipment or production facilities; engagement of technical specialists to fill a skills gap in the development of the product/service; validation of technology/product, or activities to support regulatory approval and safety requirements.
- Early Commercialisation: Accessing state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to achieve first sales; engaging experienced executive(s) to fill a skills gap; executing on first sales or executing a major licensing or other commercial contract(s).
TechInSA will determine if a proposed expenditure is eligible for the purposes of a SAECF grant. TechInSA will make payments for eligible activities upfront or in arrears.
To be eligible, Applicants must meet ALL of the following six (6) criteria:
1. The Applicant must be an organisation or individual(s)/organisation(s) in the process of forming a corporation with a South Australian nexus. This includes a body established by or under an Act of the State or a company or registered body within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
An organisation or individual will have a South Australian nexus if the majority of its (or its proposed) business is in South Australia or the Applicant’s project is to be developed in South Australia or the organisation is a South Australian university research commercialisation organisation involved in the commercialisation of an innovative product, process or service. TechInSA has ultimate discretion to determine whether or not any proposed Applicant/project falls within this definition for eligibility requirements
2. A person or body will be taken to be involved in an innovative venture if the focus or involvement includes one or more of the following activities:
- High-technology manufacturing or the development of novel technology related to such manufacturing;
- The development or production of innovative or IP focussed products (including software); or
- The provision of knowledge-intensive services or processes that use research and development, science or technology and highly skilled workers.
3. The Applicant must demonstrate access to the existing and potential IP that will be necessary for the project.
4. The Applicant must have an innovative product, service or process for global markets with potential for large revenues and economic activity in South Australia.
5. The Applicant must produce evidence of the ability to co-fund a proportion of the project costs (which may include, if deemed appropriate by TechInSA, some proportion of funds from other Government or non-Government grant sources).
6. The Applicant must demonstrate that they are otherwise unable to fully fund the activities.
Please note that preference will be given to Applicants with a turnover of less than A$2 million per annum (GST exclusive).
Applications will be assessed by TechInSA and the Panel against the following criteria:
- The feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed business or project;
- The capability, commercial experience and skill of the Applicant organisation’s board and/or management team and the persons involved in the project;
- The need for financial assistance and the extent to which the Applicant commits its own resources (cash and in-kind) to the project;
- Evidence that IP created, developed and commercialised through the project is unique and will occur in South Australia;
- The extent to which the eligible activities will contribute to the development of the Applicant’s organisation; and
- The extent to which the project will provide benefits to South Australia (such as job creation, asset/IP accumulation, accumulation of skills and experience, leveraging of other funding and/or financial returns).
Applications open on an ongoing basis.