Australia’s Economic Accelerator Seed Grants

AEA Seed provides grants of up to $500,000 to confirm proof-of-concept on research ideas pursuing a commercial and translational outcome. The grants are targeted to the experimental end of the research and development spectrum (TRL 3-5) and aim to foster investment and collaboration between industry and university researchers.

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AEA Seed Tranche 3

The third tranche of AEA Seed opened on Friday 15 December 2023 and closed on Friday 9 February 2024.

Tranche 3 will support projects for research commercialisation activity in the following 3 priority areas identified in the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation, with a special emphasis on projects that focus on advanced and additive manufacturing technologies in:

  • transport,
  • defence capability, and
  • enabling capabilities.

Projects outside of these priorities may be considered if funding allocations are not fully utilised.

Applicants should note that updates have been made to grant documentation and requirements for AEA Seed Tranche 3. These updates have been incorporated from stakeholder feedback and lessons from previous tranches to maximise the effectiveness of the pilot program.

Successful applicants for Tranche 3 will be announced in due course.

About AEA Seed Grants

The AEA is supported by the Government’s $1.6 billion investment into Australian university research commercialisation as part of the $2.2 billion University Research Commercialisation and Translation Agenda. The AEA will run programs for both proof-of-concept (AEA Ignite) and proof-of-scale (AEA Innovate) proposals over 10 years from 2023–2032.

AEA Seed is the pilot for stage one proof-of-concept grants known as AEA Ignite.

AEA Seed grants support proof-of-concept projects (Technology Readiness Level 3 to 5). Eligible applicants can apply for grants of between $50,000 and $500,000 for up to 12 months per project.

Tranche One (closed March 17, 2023) and Tranche 2 (closed May 5, 2023) called for proposals that addressed the priorities of:

  • renewables and low emissions technologies
  • medical science
  • value-add in resources
  • value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors

Projects must be completed between 3 to 12 months from the project’s commencement. Under the AEA, projects can exit after completing an AEA Seed project, with no obligation to proceed through the other stages.

The AEA Seed Grants are open to Australian universities listed at Tables A and B in the Higher Education Support Act 2003. Universities are encouraged to partner with other institutions, industry, businesses as part of their proposal.

How much funding is available?

A total of $12 million in funding is available for AEA Seed Tranche 3, with a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $500,000, available for each project. The funding pool for each priority will be between $2.5 million and $4 million.

When will applications open and close?

AEA Seed Tranche 3 opened on Friday 15 December 2023 and closed on Friday 9 February 2024. Successful applicants for Tranche 3 will be announced in due course.

How will successful projects be selected?

Proposals will be assessed against the published selection criteria, which is further detailed in the Program Guidelines, by the AEA Executive Director and a cohort of AEA Priority Managers. The AEA Executive Director and AEA Priority Managers will make recommendations on eligible proposals to the AEA Program Delegate.

Further information

Applicants should seek advice from their institutional Research Office (or equivalent). Research Office staff can email for further advice if queries cannot be answered by the Program Guidelines, Applicants Guide, or Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional resources