Have you been approached by a client, who has indicated that they have developed a new product, service, or process, and enquired, what assistance is available for them? Many accountants have contacted us throughout the year with this type of question. There is significant government assistance available to assist small businesses, that are developing new products, processes or services.
In the first instance, if structured as a company, the company could be eligible to claim the Research and Development Incentive, as long as it has spent in excess of $20,000 on legitimate research and development expenditure.
A government grant that has been designed to assist these types of activities is ‘Commercialisation Australia’.
Commercialisation Australia has four programs that will assist eligible applicants to develop their products, so that they are commercially ready for sale.
The grants are:
Skills and Knowledge – a grant of up to $50,000, on an 80% grant basis, which covers expenditure on:
- Intellectual Property Advice – patent registration, etc.
- Market Research – including the preparation of the marketing plan.
- Business Plan Preparation – incorporating budgets and cashflow forecasts.
- Capital Raising Presentation – coaching.
The applicant could initially be an individual, but if they are successful in their application, they have to incorporate a company, to which the company would then be the recipient of the grant funds. Turnover can range from NIL to $10M for an eligible applicant.
Proof of Concept – is a very interesting grant, which can range from $50,000 to $250,000, on a 50% grant basis. This grant will assist a business that has developed an initial prototype to undertake further research, trials, and develop manuals and other documentation, so that the complete product package is commercially ready for sale. The company’s turnover has to be under $10M.
Experience Executives – the government has recognised that many entrepreneurs, who have developed new products, processes and services, do not have the necessary skills to introduce a new product, process or service successfully into the marketplace. For this reason, Commercialisation Australia offers funding assistance for the employment of ‘Commercialisation Executives’, normally, chief executive/general manager, but could also include sales manager and marketing manager.
The grant is a maximum of $175,000 per annum for two year, on a 50% grant basis. The company’s turnover has to be under $10M.
Early Stage Commercialisation – this is one of the largest grants available to small businesses in Australia. The grant can range from $50,000 to $2M, on a 50% grant basis. The grant covers situations where there is more work to be undertaken than what was possible under the Proof of Concept funding, but primarily covers advanced medical/pharmaceutical trials, and situations where the business needs to construct a pilot plant, to assist in proving to potential customers that a product of a satisfactory standard can be produced. The company’s turnover can be up to $50M.
Commercialisation Australia applications have to be undertaken in a two-phased process. Many potential applicants experience difficulties in completing the application forms. ESS BIZTOOLS offers a consultancy service to assist in the preparation of application forms. If you would like a copy of a paper, ‘Commercialisation Australia – Overview’, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESS BIZGrants includes complete details on the grants offered by Commercialisation Australia.
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