SME Export Hubs

What is the SME Export Hubs?

The SME Export Hubs is a grant opportunity that will help in the development of local, regional and Indigenous brands through business collaborations in the identified areas of competitive strength. The hubs will work with Growth Centres in each sector to take advantage of export opportunities.



The objectives of the SME Export Hubs grant opportunity are to:

  • support the establishment and/or operation of SME export hubs (export hubs) in the six Growth Centre sectors:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Cyber Security
    • Food and Agribusiness
    • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
    • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
    • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources.
  • support SME development through facilitation of export opportunities and working with the Growth Centres.



Applicants can apply for grant funding for a newly established export hub or an existing (mature) export hub.

The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs (grant percentage).

  • The minimum grant amount is $150,000
  • The maximum grant amount is $1.5 million.

The remaining 50 per cent of eligible project costs we consider your contribution. Your contribution must be cash, and not in-kind.

Your contribution must be from sources other than the Commonwealth and can include state, territory and local government and industry partners.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible for the SME Export Hubs your project must:

  • include eligible activities and eligible expenditure
  • have at least $300,000 in eligible expenditure
  • support the establishment and/or operation of a new or existing export hub
  • support participating SMEs to improve their capability to increase exports, and create jobs
  • develop and implement an export strategy, building on identified SME strengths and innovation potential.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the SME Export Hubs you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and
  • be one of the following entities:
    • an incorporated not-for-profit organisation such as:
      • an incorporated association
      • a company limited by guarantee
      • a non-distributing co-operative
      • an Indigenous not for profit corporation
      • a not-for-profit incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
    • an Australian local government agency or body
    • an Australian state/territory government agency or body
    • Regional Development Australia (RDA) committee.

If you are applying as a not for profit organisation you must demonstrate your not-for-profit status through one of the following:

  • current Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission’s (ACNC) registration
  • state or territory incorporated association status
  • constitutional documents and/or Articles of Association that demonstrate the not for profit character of your organisation.



To be announced.


Round 2 Recipients

Project organisationProject descriptionGrant (excl. GST)Total project cost (excl. GST)Project activity location(s)
City of CanningThe project will establish a new SME Export Hub within its Canning Vale precinct, focusing on the Food and Agribusiness sector. The Hub aims to value-add to the existing cluster of food and agribusiness SMEs that are centred around the Market City facility and will serve as a one-stop-shop for all participants in the industry value chain both local, regional and international. Key activities of the Hub will include: workshops and training programs that build the capacity and capability of businesses, facilitation of collaboration opportunities, short-term working spaces, and the facilitation of research and development opportunities with academia.$347,334$1,042,000Canning Vale WA
Fruit Growers Tasmania IncThe project will establish an agrifood export hub for the Tasmanian region. This multi-industry hub will provide export support services and foster collaboration between SME producers of fruit, nuts, vegetables, salad greens and other horticultural products and build upon the strength of Tasmania’s brand. It will also operate as a receiving and meeting area for inbound trade delegations and buyer-meetings in the state’s capital and showcase the strong export culture and commitment to quality of Tasmania’s horticultural sector.$460,475$920,950North Hobart TAS
Defence Teaming Centre IncThe project will expand the Defence Teaming Centre’s pilot Teaming Program to support advanced manufacturing and cyber security SMEs in South Australia to capitalise on defence sector global supply chain and export opportunities. The Hub will be delivered in partnership with a national network of organisations, including industry, academia and government agencies, and will provide specialist educational on how to use collaboration to overcome traditional barriers to export. One on one business matching and an export coaching service will also be provided to support the implementation of teaming arrangements to achieve export success.$624,009$1,248,018Adelaide SA
Subsea Energy Australia IncThe project will expand Subsea Energy Australia’s (SEA) and Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia’s (SICA) existing activities with the aim of bringing Australia’s energy industry to the international stage, increasing competitiveness and facilitating access to export markets and global supply chains. The project will support SMEs to realise greater export opportunities, increase export revenue and grow employment opportunities by showcasing Australia’s world class subsea skills and technologies to the global energy sector.$1,402,658$2,805,316Perth WA
Life Sciences Queensland LimitedThe project will establish The Life Sciences Innovation Export Hub in Queensland in collaboration with Life Sciences Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the Australia China Technology Incubator. The Hub will bring together industry and research expertise from the Queensland life sciences sector with dedicated Asian export capability and knowledge. The Hub will support life sciences start-ups and SMEs to access Asian markets and provide access to specialised commercialisation training for export markets, export training and advice specific to the Asian life sciences and medical technology sector, the development of export and commercialisation strategies and access to commercial pathways and partners in the Asian market.$515,000$1,030,000Kelvin Grove QLD
Austmine LimitedThe project will establish the Victorian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Export Hub (the Hub) to accelerate entry into export markets by developing the capabilities of regional Victorian SME METS companies and linking them with international growth opportunities. The Hub will strengthen the competitive positioning of the sector and create export-focussed METS companies through building capabilities to address emerging needs of customers, facilitating knowledge sharing within a strong METS cohort and providing the skills needed to export. Global opportunities will be fostered through a strong export strategy, leveraging relationships with mining houses, business matching, market intelligence and showcasing VIC METS expertise internationally.$508,500$1,017,034Ballarat VIC, Bendigo VIC, Stawell VIC, Latrobe Valley VIC, Geelong VIC
Shoalhaven City CouncilThe project will establish an SME Export Hub to support Shoalhaven manufacturing SME’s to get export ready. The hub will work with each participant business to create individualised export strategies. These strategies will also be used to identify common barriers to export and potential overseas markets. The network of SME’s will create a space where businesses can learn first-hand from each other’s export experiences and collaborate on export efforts. The development of export strategies and the creation of the export hub will create export ready businesses that are then able to take advantage of other services such as those offered by Austrade, TradeStart and Growth Centres.$150,000$300,660Nowra NSW
Austmine LimitedThe project will establish the Western Australia Mining Equipment and Technology (METS) Digital Mining Export Hub. The hub will build a strong digital mining capability network to strength the competitive positioning and skills of regional SMEs in order to better access international opportunities. It will work across five major regional WA METS centres and deliver tailored services based on the needs of local companies, and link SMEs within the hub to create a state-wide network. The network will include companies based in Perth to leverage the reputation and expertise of WA as the leader in digital mining solutions. The Hub will provide the skills needed to export and help SMEs understand and address the emerging needs of global mining customers through a digital lens.$516,792$1,033,584Bunbury WA Kalgoorlie WA, Newman WA, Karratha WA, Port Headland WA
Australian Meat Industry CouncilThis project will establish an SME Export Hub to support micro/boutique meat processors to expand their food (meat) businesses beyond the domestic sector. The project aims to assist micro/boutique processors to develop an understanding of meat exports, as well as assist them to navigate the meat export landscape. The project will help SME processors to grow meat exports and create jobs within the industry, contributing to the government’s vision of $100bn of agricultural exports by 2030.$250,000$500,000St Leonards NSW
Food South Australia IncorporatedThe project will expand Food South Australia’s existing SME Export Hub activities and address identified gaps to: improve regional business access of the program through the development of digital options and tools; provide 1-on-1 support for pre-exporters to develop an export plan; assist exporters by supporting cost of participation in Food SA Producer Area in three key tradeshows; build knowledge of the USA market through in-depth market reports, market missions and supported tradeshow space; and create new hub activity through partnership with Regional Development Australia Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island, and aligning the delivery of their targeted Middle East Export Growth program with the hub.$194,467$388,934Urrbrae SA, Strathalbyn SA


Round 1 Recipients

Recipient organisationProject titleProject descriptionGrant (excl. GST)Total project cost (excl. GST)Project activity location(s)
Food South Australia IncorporatedSA Food and Beverage Export HubThe project will establish an Export Hub to bring together business, research and government organisations and agencies to support the food and beverages manufacturers and producers in South Australia. The Hub will offer specialist advice and support by offering tailored coaching and case management to allow SMEs to achieve their export goals.$234,933$470,795Urrbrae, SA
Tanunda, SA
Mount Gambier, SA
Murray Bridge, SA
Port Pirie, SA
Regional Development Australia – Northern RiversBerry SME Export HubThe project will establish the Berry Export Hub to target SME fruit growers in South East Queensland and Northern NSW. The Hub will focus on berry growers from the blueberry, raspberry and strawberry industries. The Hub is expected to facilitate an increase in employment and an increase in berry production and export revenues$199,125$398,250Lismore, NSW
Woolgoolga, NSW
Lindendale, NSW
Boynewood, QLD
Greater Whitsunday Alliance LimitedMackay-Isaac-Whitsunday METS Export HubThe project will establish the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday (MIW) Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS) Export Hub in Mackay QLD. The hub will focus on the development and implementation of a targeted Export Strategy for the MIW METS sector, providing greater access to export specific training, market intelligence and financial support for MIW METS SMEs.$353,420$706,840Mackay, QLD
Hunternet Co-operative LimitedNSW Export HubThe project will establish the NSW Export Hub at offices in Newcastle and Ourimbah, NSW. The hub will focus on three industry sectors, mining equipment, technology and services (METS), food and advanced manufacturing and will provide the following services to SMEs: Provide an Export Hub Manager for each industry sector to develop partnerships and benefits to SMEs, provide a range of services and structured training to help encourage and maximize SME business entry into three main export markets, make available support services like cultural awareness training, marketing resources and engagement with all levels of government and the services they offer.$1,260,900$2,521,800Newcastle West, NSW
Ourimbah, NSW
TSBE Export and Investment Development LimitedSouthern Queensland Innovation in Export HubThe project will establish an Export Hub to establish the global reputation and capability of food and agribusiness and oil and gas SMEs in Southern Queensland. The project will help encourage SMEs to develop a collaborative export culture within the region to promote the premium products and services available. The project will provide professional support services, networking opportunities and stakeholder engagement.$839,416$1,678,833Toowoomba, QLD
Regional Development Australia – OranaOrana Opportunity Network METS Export HubThe project will establish an Export Hub which will focus on the support and development of mining equipment and technology services SME participants. The project will service the Orana and the Central West regions and will identify commercial opportunities, facilitate an increase in investment and develop an economic development strategy.$234,887$469,775Dubbo, NSW
East Gippsland Food Cluster IncorporatedGippsland ConnectThe project will establish the Gippsland Connect Export Hub in Morwell and Traralgon VIC. The hub will focus on the food industry sector by supporting participating Gippsland agrifood SMEs to improve their capabilities, increase exports and support business/industry growth. The project will develop and implement a collaborative targeted export strategy which connects Gippsland agrifood sector capabilities with export market demands.$200,000$400,000Morewell, VIC
Traralgon, VIC
Australian Wagyu Association LtdThe Australian Beef Export Capability Development HubThe project will establish an Export Hub to develop export capability for SMEs working in the Australian Wagyu Industry through the implementation of Japanese Meat Image carcass grading cameras. The Hub will assist SMEs to use and develop skills in the use of these cameras to assist the Australian Wagyu Industry to build on product quality and brand recognition.$801,847$1,603,695Armidale, NSW
Australian Manufacturing Technology institute LtdRail and Haulage Supply Chain Export HubThe project will establish the Rail and Haulage Supply Chain Export Hub in Wantirna VIC. The hub will focus on the manufacturing industry to deliver specialised education, and tailored support services with target market opportunities for SMEs engaged in rail and haulage supply chain commercial enterprise, thus enabling them to develop the knowledge, capability and capacity to successfully export their products and services.$1,500,000$4,200,000Wantirna, VIC
Agribusiness Regional Development Association IncorporatedCapital Regions Export HubThe project will establish the Capital Regions Export Hub at offices in Canberra, ACT and Wagga Wagga, NSW. The hub will focus on the food industry sector and will provide the following services to SMEs: a business assessment program to understand capacity to export, provide general and tailored advice, and develop products and services for businesses considering exporting, deliver seminars and workshops to provided business with relevant skills and knowledge.$280,000$560,000Griffith, ACT
Wagga Wagga, NSW


Latest News

05 August 2020 – Export hub grants help businesses through COVID-19 crisis

10 export hubs from 5 states will receive more than $4.9 million under the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs Initiative. The funding will help the businesses to emerge successfully from the COVID-19 crisis.

The grants are being provided under round 2 of the SME Export Hubs Initiative and include funding for hubs located across Australia, including Nowra, Hobart, and Perth.



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