Commercialisation Australia is a merit based, competitive assistance program delivered by the Australian Government that provides an integrated, hands-on approach to help take products, processes and services to market. It offers a range of tailored assistance measures for specialist advice and services, proof of concept and early stage commercialisation activities.
Commercialisation Australia has funding of $278 million over the five years to 2014, with ongoing funding of $82 million a year thereafter.
Specific program components include:
Skills and Knowledge support to help build the skills, knowledge and connections required to commercialise intellectual property. It provides funding of up to $50,000 to pay for specialist advice and services. This funding is provided on a 20:80 basis, where the applicant contributes 20% and Commercialisation Australia contributes 80%.
Experienced Executives which provides funding up to $350,000 over two years to assist with the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer or other senior executive. This funding is provided on a 50:50 matching basis.
Proof of Concept grants of $50,000 to $250,000 to test the commercial viability of a new product, process or service. This funding is provided on a 50:50 matching basis. Early Stage Commercialisation grants of $50,000 to $2 million to develop a new product, process or service to the stage where it can be taken to market. This funding is provided on a 50:50 matching basis.
Each participant is assigned a Case Manager for the duration of their time with Commercialisation Australia. The Case Manager guides participants through the commercialisation process and facilitates their access to experienced the Expert Network.
Participants can access Commercialisation Australia through any one of the components, and exit at any point. Multiple forms of assistance may be accessed concurrently or consecutively, based on the needs of the applicant.
Once companies have participated in Commercialisation Australia, the broad objective is for them to be in a position to independently engage in the marketplace - raising money from the private sector, licensing their technology, entering joint ventures, or simply trading profitably.
Commercialisation Australia acknowledges the high risk nature of the projects it supports and recognises that some will fail. Commercialisation Australia expects some participants will realise during the term of their funding agreement that their project will not achieve its objectives. Commercialisation Australia encourages such voluntary terminations (‘fast failure’) and will view it as a positive indicator of the management team’s capability in any future application for funding under the program.
The CEO of Commercialisation Australia Doron Ben-Meir explains the rationale and benefits of the program in the linked video.