Australia’s Economic Accelerator Seed Grants

The AEA is designed to foster investment and collaboration between Industry and Researchers to strengthen Australia’s research commercialisation ecosystem, ensuring Australia reaps the benefits of investment in research within the university sector.

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The second tranche of the AEA Seed grants applications closed on Friday 5 May at 5pm. Further information on the application process can be found in the Program Guidelines.

The AEA is supported by the Governments $1.6 billion investment into Australian university research commercialisation as part of the $2.2 billion University Research Commercialisation Action Plan. 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 was 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 were able to apply for grants of between $50,000 and $500,000 for up to 12 months per project.

Priority consideration was given to proposals seeking to address four of the seven National Reconstruction Fund priority areas, through two tranches.

Tranche One (closed March 17 2023) and Tranche Two (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 were open to Australian universities listed at Tables A and B in the Higher Education Support Act 2003. Universities were encouraged to partner with other institutions including research organisations, Industry, businesses as part of their proposal.

How much funding is available?

A total of $10 million is available for AEA Seed Grants, with a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $500,000, available for each project.

When will applications open and close?

The AEA Seed Grants closed at 5pm AEST on 5 May 2023. Further details on the application process are provided in the Program Guidelines.

How will successful projects be selected?

Proposals were assessed against the published selection criteria (Guidelines) by the AEA Executive Director and a cohort of Expert Advisors. The AEA Executive Director and Expert Advisors made 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