Grants available for biotechs / Federal

1. Research / Spin off

  • Pre-Seed Fund (VC funding)
  • R&D Tax Offset (if public ownership less than 25%)
  • Commercialising Emerging Technology (COMET)
  • ARC Linkage
  • NHMRC Industry Fellowships

2. Start up / early commercialisation / proof of concept stage

  • R&D Tax Offset
  • Pharmaceuticals Partnerships Program (in partnership)
  • Innovation Investment Fund (VC funding)
  • Commercialising Emerging Technology (COMET)
  • NHMRC Development Grants
  • (BIF – no more funding rounds)

3. Commercialisation / further R&D / product development

  • R&D Start
  • R&D Start Graduate
  • R&D Start Concessional Loans
  • R&D Tax Concession / Offset
  • Pharmaceuticals Partnerships Program
  • Innovation Access Program

4. Product development / partnering / clinical trials

  • Pharmaceuticals Partnerships Program
  • R&D Tax Concession / Offset
  • Innovation Access Program

5. Manufacturing / exporting

  • R&D Tax Concession / Offset
  • Export Market Development Grants (EMDG)

6. Other Support

  • Australian Institute for Commercialisation
  • InnovationXchange
  • IP Australia
  • National Australian Technology Showcase
  • Techlink Technology Advisory Service
  • TradeStart
  • Triton Foundation

ARC Linkage-Project

Linkage—Projects supports research and development projects that are undertaken to acquire new knowledge and that involve risk or innovation.

Linkage—Projects supports collaborative research projects between higher education researchers and industry and identifies an allocation to projects of benefit to regional and rural communities. Proposals must contain an industry contribution. The interaction with actual or potential users of research outcomes is a critical element in Linkage—Projects.

Australian Postgraduate Awards Industry, Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships Industry, and Linkage Industry Fellowships are available under Linkage—Projects.

The minimum grant size is $20,000 per annum and the maximum is $500,000 per annum. The ARC reserves the right to determine the level and length of funding allocated to the project. The ARC will award few grants at the higher end of the funding spectrum and these will normally be awarded only for an application that involves a collaborating team of outstanding investigators.

The amount of Commonwealth funding being sought in a Linkage Projects application will depend on the applicant’s capacity to obtain the required Industry Partner(s) contribution. The combined industry partner contributions, in cash or in kind must at least match the total amount sought from the Commonwealth on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Innovation Access Program – Industry (delivered by AusIndustry)

A competitive program designed to foster innovation and competitiveness by increasing the take up of new technologies and best practice processes by Australian industry, particularly SMEs. The program does not fund R&D activities.

There are no typical projects under the IAP. Examples of projects funded include:

  • technology access missions including best practice studies and alliances;
  • international specialist visits to Australia;
  • technology access workshops, and workshops that demonstrate new technologies;
  • projects that involve the introduction of strategic planning tools such as technology


Approved grants will be up to 50% of the total project costs for eligible project costs. A minimum of 20% of total project contributions must be from industry. Contributions may be in cash and/or in-kind from the applicant, participants, and industry or from other funding sources. Support can range from small grants in the order of $10,000 to grants of over $0.5 million.

Innovation Access Program – International S&T (delivered by DEST)

Competitive Grants component

Support for international R&D cooperation and related activities, such as undertaking

collaborative research projects, alliances and associated project-specific workshops with

international partners.

Applications are accepted from Australian private companies, and organisations such as

education institutions, CRCs, industry groups and Commonwealth scientific agencies (eg.

CSIRO). Consortia of these may also apply.

Grants include support for:

  • collaborative international research projects and alliances;
  • world leading researchers and innovators to visit Australia;
  • Australian participation in European Union Framework research projects; and
  • major international conferences to be held in Australia.

In addition, two separate funds have been set up to specifically support scientific and technological cooperation with China (the Australia –China Special Fund for S&T Cooperation) and France (French Australian Science and Technology Programme). Applicants can apply for up to 50% of the Australian component of project costs, or in the case of international conferences, up to a maximum of $50,000. Grant amounts are wide ranging.

Applications are made on a competitive basis against specific criteria and are considered in rounds.


Innovation Investment Fund (VC funding)

The Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) venture capital program is designed to promote the

commercialisation of Australian R&D, through the provision of venture capital to small, hightech

companies at the seed, start up or early expansion stages of their development. Under

the program, the Australian government licenses private sector fund managers who make

investments in eligible investee companies, by utilising the $358m in capital provided by both

the Government ($220.7m) and private sector investors ($137.35m). Currently, there are nine

IIF funds ranging from $30m to $50m in size. All states are now directly serviced by the IIF

licensed funds.

Potential investee companies should:

  • be commercialising the results of R&D;

  • have an annual revenue of up to $4 million, averaged over the past two years, with a

    maximum of $5 million in either of these years; and

  • have a majority of its employees and assets inside Australia at the time the licensed

fund first invests in the company.


National Health Medical Research Council Development Grants

The NHMRC Development Grants Scheme aims to support the development of health or

medical research that has commercial potential and which has the potential to benefit the

Australian community. Provide funding for research commercialisation at the early proof-ofconcept


The scheme is pitched at the perceived funding gap between the end of a high quality basic

research program and the developments required to make the project commercially attractive

to potential investors. Consequently Development Grants provide funding for research

commercialisation at the early proof-of-concept stage, and while commercial partners, if they

exist, are encouraged, it is not a requirement that applicants have a commercial partner in


Development Grants are designed to support development work undertaken in a human

health related field, for example, diagnostics, medical devices or pharmaceutical product

development, biotechnology, bioinformatics, biomaterials, etc. The proposed research, which

must demonstrate commercial potential, could be for a new therapeutic or diagnostic product

or technique, a working prototype of a piece of medical equipment, or a formulation of a

chemical compound.

Applications must demonstrate a basic understanding of the process and steps to move from

research to commercialisable outcomes, including the process and steps to a market, the

nature of the market, the milestones and risks of the venture and an understanding of

possible means of handling intellectual property connected with the project.

The grant request will usually not exceed $200,000 per annum, unless there are exceptional



NHMRC Industry Fellowships

NHMRC Industry Fellowships have been established to foster closer interaction between

Australian researchers and high technology industries.

The fellowships are intended to target researchers with a track record of research excellence

and commercial interest to spend up to 2 years in industry (in Australia or overseas), followed

by 2 years at a research institution in Australia. Up to 10 fellowships may be awarded

annually, determined by the scientific and commercial merits of the applications.

Industry Fellowships are designed to support development work undertaken in a human

health related field, for example, diagnostics, medical devices or pharmaceutical product

development, biotechnology, bioinformatics, biomaterials, etc.

The package being offered is $85,250 p.a. for each of the 4 years.

The Fellowship is tenable only in institutions approved by NHMRC and the industry placement

is to be approved by the NHMRC.


Pharmaceuticals Partnerships Program (P 3 )

The P 3 is aimed at increasing the amount of high quality pharmaceutical R&D activity in

Australia throughout the entire value chain including biotechnology, originator and generic

medicines companies. Participating companies will receive thirty cents for each additional

dollar they spend on eligible R&D in Australia up to a maximum grant amount of $10 million.

P3 is not restricted to companies that sell products on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,

and ownership of intellectual property will not impact on the eligibility of R&D under the

program. The competitive program commences on 1 July 2004 and concludes on 30 June


A company is eligible to apply for the program if it:

  • is incorporated under Australian corporations law

  • is part of the pharmaceuticals industry

  • has at least a three-year track record of pharmaceutical R&D activities in Australia

  • can commit, through a contract with the Commonwealth, to increasing its

pharmaceutical research and development in Australia.

Eligible applicants will be ranked against five selection criteria. Only those applicants whose

portfolios of R&D activities demonstrate the highest merit will receive an offer of funding under

the program.


Pre-Seed Fund (VC funding)

Pre-Seed Fund seeks to encourage the private sector to take a more active role in funding

and managing the commercialisation of research from universities and Australian

Government research agencies such as CSIRO, the Australian Nuclear Science and

Technology Organisation and CRCs.

Under the program, four fund managers, Allen and Buckeridge Asset Management,

GBS Venture Partners Limited, SciVentures and Starfish Ventures have been selected to

invest more than $100 million in projects or companies spinning out from universities or public

sector research agencies. The managers will acquire an equity interest in the companies or

projects and will provide management and technical advice to develop the commercial

potential of the technology. The maximum investment in any project or company is $1

million. Ultimately, the managers will divest their interest in successful projects and

companies to later stage investors.

To be eligible for investment, companies or projects must be commercialising research and

have at least 50 percent of their intellectual property owned by a university, a public sector

research organisation or qualifying researchers. They must also be controlled or supervised

by a university, or a public sector research organisation and be undertaken in Australia and

not have generated any sales revenue.

Aussie Opportunities is a web-enabled database, which actively matches Australian research

and technology projects with potential investors and partners who can help in the project

development. It is the only system in Australia that specifically targets potential partners and

investors, both nationally and globally, for their involvement in Australia’s early stage research

projects. The site will serve as a "one stop shop" for early stage IP.

The website has been developed jointly between the Australian Institute for

Commercialisation (AIC) and Pacific Capital Corporation Ltd with the support of Knowledge

Commercialisation Australasia and the Australian Industry InnovationXchange Network. The

project was co-funded by the New South Wales and Victorian governments.

The AIC is a national, not-for-profit company that delivers programs to improve

commercialisation of Australia’s research investment. Pacific Capital established, and run,

CAPstart Private Equity Market, which is Australia’s leading online system for the raising of

new capital for Entrepreneurs and new ventures.

The Australian Institute for Commercialisation

The Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) is a national, not-for-profit company that

delivers programs to improve commercialisation of Australia’s research investment. The

company commenced operations in July 2002 as a " Smart State" initiative by the

Queensland government, and has received support from all States, the Northern Territory and

a number of universitites and research institutions.

Corresponding AIC programs include, firstly, the establishment of national and global

networks to consolidate existing commercialisation activities. Secondly, the delivery of AIC

professional development programs targeted at improving commercialistion management

skills. Thirdly, collaborative analysis projects to provide information that facilitates better

resource allocation and policy input.


The InnovationXchange is a one-stop exchange connecting industry to the world of

innovation. It provides an integrated resource and service with information, events, networks

and communications dedicated to promoting and providing easy access to Australia’s wealth

of innovation resources. It brings together those who know the value of innovation. It creates

and builds links between industry, national and state governments, public research and

education institutions. The InnovationXchange captures and promotes the latest research,

scientific expertise, new technologies, products and services, education and training services,

government programs, networks and experts. The InnovationXchange is a freely accessible

service but ONLY MEMBERS can use it to market and promote their innovation capabilities.

IP Australia

IP Australia is the federal government agency that handles patents, trademarks, design

registrations etc. On-line search of Australian as well as USA and EU patent offices is

available. There are also extensive resources on protecting and managing intellectual


National Australian Technology Showcase

The Australian Technology Showcase (ATS) is an international website campaign to promote

leading-edge Australian technology, and the skills of the companies that make them.

The objectives of the ATS are to: increase local exports and attract investment into local

companies; raise the awareness of the local industry about the range of domestic know-how

available; and to support and encourage innovation, commercialisation and technology

diffusion in Australian industry.

The ATS has developed a rigorous selection process for potential technologies and this has

proven very attractive to the other States/Territories of Australia. The National Australian

Technology Showcase has now been established and includes representation from the

governments of South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, New

South Wales and the Commonwealth (Chair).

Techlink Technology Advisory Service

AusIndustry has launched a new service for small and medium sized enterprises, Industry

Techlink, which provides access to free technology advice through a hotline phone service

(1800 111 485), an interactive website. The service, delivered by Melbourne company

Consultel on behalf of the Federal Government, aims to provide companies looking for

technology solutions with a starting point to solve problems. The Industry Techlink Inquiry

Centre will be staffed by technology consultants who will 'case manage' each inquiry through

to diagnosis of the customer's problem and a suggested way forward.


TradeStart is a national network of export assistance offices in partnership between Austrade

and a range of local private and public sector organisations throughout Australia. TradeStart

is an integral part of Austrade's domestic network.

Austrade and TradeStart offer a package of free services designed to assist small and

medium sized Australian companies develop their business overseas and make their first

export sale.

The program gives Australian businesses the best possible start to exporting, by providing a

wide range of free services to new exporters including advice and information about getting

into exporting, export coaching and assistance on the ground in foreign markets.

Support for potential exporters is available through Austrade and its TradeStart partner

organisations throughout Australia and Austrade's overseas network.

Triton Foundation

The Triton Foundation is a national, not-for-profit initiative with a focus on private inventors

(and small-to-medium sized enterprises) with good, but under-exposed products.

The Foundation provides advice, educational and coaching assistance and help with some

services, as required, through the commercialisation process.

When the inventors are ready, it provides them with mass media exposure, including

showcasing on a planned prime-time TV series - working title "The Clever Country"™.

The site features on line assessment of inventions.