Businesses developing a new product, process or service won’t have to repay Early Stage Commercialisation grants under new changes to the government-funded Commercialisation Australia program.
Minister for Innovation Kim Carr announced this and other significant changes to the program’s grants for local inventions, following the additional $10 million added to the Commonwealth funding program yesterday.
“Australia is a creative and vibrant nation, but too many of our inventions never see the light of day. We want to turn that around,” Carr said.
Early Stage Commercialisation grants will be made available to more businesses, following the raising of the annual turnover limit for applicants to $50 million from $20 million.
Furthermore, businesses wishing to engage a CEO or other senior executive, can now apply for a bumped up Experienced Executives grant of $350,000—up from $200,000.
The Commonwealth assistance program offers funding and resources to local innovators, and has a strong track record in supporting Australian businesses to bring innovative products to market. The latest changes are aimed at ensuring the program delivers crucial practical assistance in tough economic times.
The changes also include amendments to eligible expenditure guidelines for the Early Stage Commercialisation grants, aimed at providing broader support for the development of pilot manufacturing plants and innovative manufacturing facilities.
“From early 2012 we will introduce more improvements to support innovation in the manufacturing sector,” Senator Carr said.
Commercialisation Australia, a government program that assists inventors in converting ideas to commercial ventures, has provided $71.7 million to 177 innovators since 2010.