In a rapidly changing, highly competitive global economy, a significant opportunity to grow Australia’s future prosperity lies in leveraging the excellence of our university research sector.
Australia produces world-class university research, but too often, it does not progress from the bench top into products, services, or new businesses.
The Australian Government is investing $1.6 billion in Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA), a program designed to transform innovative university ideas into commercial opportunities and outcomes, and foster greater collaboration between universities and industry.
The AEA is a stage-gated program designed to provide funding to confirm proof-of-concept (AEA Ignite) and proof-of-scale (AEA Innovate) and pursue commercial outcomes. The AEA has also been designed to provide funding to the Main Sequence Ventures program run by the CSIRO, which provides a source of venture capital investment.
The department is running a pilot program through the first half of 2023 – the AEA Seed Grants – the first tranche of which opened for applications on February 6. The pilot will run ahead of full implementation of the AEA later in 2023 and targets proof of concept applications offering up to $500,000 per grant for up to 12 months.
The AEA Seed Grants provides an opportunity to test and refine program assumptions and demonstrate the capacity of the program to deliver on its intended outcomes prior to full implementation. The pilot will focus on the following four priority areas:
- Renewables and low emission technologies
- Medical science
- Value add in resources
- Value add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
These areas align with the National Reconstruction Fund priorities which aim to diversify, transform, and expand Australian industry and the economy.
Entrepreneurial-minded researchers at Australian universities are encouraged to apply, with the first tranche of applications closing on 17 March 2023. The second tranche opens on 27 March 2023.
For more information, visit the Australia’s Economic Accelerator page.