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FAQs
Last Reviewed: 21/02/2014

This section provides answers to the questions raised most frequently about Commercialisation Australia.  

Note: the responses to the frequently asked questions and the references at the end of each relate to the latest version of the Customer Information Guide available from the Commercialisation Australia web site. If you have applied for Commercialisation Australia assistance under a previous version of the Customer Information Guide please contact your AusIndustry Customer Service Manager directly with your query.

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Watch an interview with the CEO of Commercialisation Australia, Doron Ben-Meir in which he addresses some of the most frequently asked questions. 

 

General

  1. Is it a requirement that you apply for Skills and Knowledge first before progressing to other components?

    No. The program is designed to be flexible, and funding is structured around the key stages of the commercialisation process, allowing eligible applicants to apply for funding under any of the four components of funding at the appropriate time.

    For further information, please see Section 1.4 of the Customer Information Guide.

  2. Is it possible to apply for more than one component at the same time?

    Yes, you may apply for up to two components at the same time, with the exception of the following combinations:

    • Skills & Knowledge and Early Stage Commercialisation, and
    • Proof of Concept and Early Stage Commercialisation.

    The following multi-component applications are acceptable:

    • Skills & Knowledge and Proof of Concept
    • Skills & Knowledge and Experienced Executives
    • Proof of Concept and Experienced Executives
    • Early Stage Commercialisation and Experienced Executives

    Applicants should note the risk associated with submitting multi-component applications. Where the Commercialisation Australia Board considers one component to be uncompetitive the remaining component will be re-assessed against the Need for Funding criterion and it may consider that the applicant has sufficient finance to fund the remaining component itself.

    For further information, please see Section 1.5 of the Customer Information Guide

  3. Why must applicants fund part of the project themselves?

    The Commonwealth is making a significant commitment to projects funded under Commercialisation Australia and expects applicants to show a similar level of commitment.

    For further information, please see Section 2.2 of the Customer Information Guide.

  4. Do I need to have my share of project funding upfront?

    No, but applicants need to be able to demonstrate that they can fund their share of project costs over the life of the project.

    For further information, please see Section 2.2 of the Customer Information Guide.

  5. Can the applicant’s share of project funding be in-kind or from other grant funding from the Commonwealth, States or Territories? 

    No, the applicant’s share of project funding cannot be met in-kind and cannot be met from other government grant sources.

    For further information, please see Section 2.2 of the Customer Information Guide.

  6. Do the grants attract the Goods and Services Tax?

    Commercialisation Australia grant payments are subject to GST.  Grant payments are increased to compensate for the level of this tax. 

    For further information, please see Section 6.1 of the Customer Information Guide.

  7. Does foreign ownership preclude a company from application? 

    No, however, the applicant must be incorporated in Australia.

    For further information, please see Section 2.1 of the Customer Information Guide.

  8. Are clinical trials an eligible activity?

    As a general rule, Commercialisation Australia does not support R&D projects. Given the variety of clinical trials and the particular circumstances of each trial it is likely that some trials could be considered R&D. Applications involving clinical trials will be judged on a merit basis. Where applications are mostly or all about clinical trials, the clinical trials are essentially exploratory work or there is not a high likelihood of a commercial transaction at the end of the project, then an application is unlikely to be supported. The Commonwealth supports R&D through the R&D Tax Incentive.

    For further information, please see Section 2.4 of the Customer Information Guide.

  9. Can I ask my Case Manager and/or Customer Service Manager to sign a confidentiality agreement?

    No, Case Managers and Customer Service Managers will not sign confidentiality agreements. The use and disclosure of information provided by applicants for the Commercialisation Australia program is regulated.

    For further information, please see Section 4 of the Customer Information Guide.

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Skills and Knowledge

  1. Why is there no provision under the Skills and Knowledge component for working prototypes or proven technology?

    Funding for working prototypes and proven technology activities is available under the Proof of Concept component.

    For further information, please see Section 2.5 of the Customer Information Guide.

  2. Is there a limit on overseas expenditure for Skills and Knowledge?

    No, there is no limit, but Skills and Knowledge expenditure has to be agreed to by the Case Manager.

    For further information, please see Section 3 of Appendix 2 of the Customer Information Guide.

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Experienced Executives

  1. Does the CEO or experienced executive need to be 'new' to the company? Can it be the founder of the company?

    It is not necessary for an executive to be ‘new’ in order to be eligible for support under the Experienced Executives component, however founders and significant shareholders are not eligible. The intent of this component is to provide companies that do not have an experienced CEO or other executive with assistance to bring in appropriate skills and knowledge to the company. The executive is expected to bring complementary skills and experience that assist existing management to drive the business towards a successful launch of its new product, process or service in the marketplace.

    For further information, please see Section 4 of Appendix 2 of the Customer Information Guide.

  2. Can a company apply for more than one experienced executive?

    Yes. However, each executive must work at least three days per week on the project and the funding limit still applies and cannot exceed $350,000 for all positions combined. The application also needs to make a strong case as to how funding will help retain the services of these executives.

    For further information, please see Section 4 of Appendix 2 of the Customer Information Guide.

  3. Does the CEO/Executive need to be located in Australia?

    It is possible to submit an application for an executive based overseas, however, there would need to be a very strong case why the executive has to be overseas.

    For further information, please see Section 4 of Appendix 2 of the Customer Information Guide.

  4. Can you fund a non-executive director?

    No. The executive needs to be involved in the day-to-day management of the company.

  5. Can the executive be a person who:

    • already has shares or options in the company, or
    • is an associate of a shareholder, or
    • is an angel investor in the company, or
    • is a Commercialisation Australia Expert Network member?

    Yes, with the exception of significant shareholders (controlling 20% or more of a company’s shares). It comes down to merit and whether the executive has the required skills critical to the success of the project and the company. The applicant needs to demonstrate that the executive did not receive and will not receive any favourable treatment by virtue of their association with the company.

    For further information, please see Section 4 of Appendix 2 of the Customer Information Guide.

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Proof of Concept

  1. Can a POC project include R&D activities?

    Commercialisation Australia does not fund R&D projects. A project is considered an R&D project if its focus is on basic research or technical experiments. However, a project may include R&D activities and still be eligible if these R&D activities are essential in order to achieve a commercial transaction after the successful completion of the project. The likelihood of a commercial transaction must be high and will be assessed through the merit criteria.

    For further information, please see Section 2.4 of the Customer Information Guide.

    The Commonwealth supports R&D through the R&D Tax Incentive. Further information on the R&D Tax Incentive is available at www.ausindustry.gov.au.

  2. Is there any further guidance available on what is a POC project?

    Funding for activities associated with the steps necessary to establish the commercial viability of a new product, process or service is provided under the Proof of Concept component. Applicants should make it clear in the application what the project is aiming to prove and to whom (e.g. the customer). The application should demonstrate a high probability of a commercial transaction following the successful completion of their project. The higher the likelihood the more meritorious the application is likely to be.

    For further information, please see Section 2.5 of the Customer Information Guide.

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Early Stage Commercialisation Grants

  1. Can you apply for an ESC grant of less than $50,000?

    No, funding under the ESC component must be between $50,000 and $2 million.

    For further information, please see Section 1.3 of the Customer Information Guide.

  2. Can you apply more than once for an ESC grant for the same project?

    Yes you can, provided that all ESC grants combined for the one project do not exceed the maximum funding available under the ESC component, which is $2 million.

    For further information, please see Section 1.4 of the Customer Information Guide.

  3. Are ESC grants repayable?

    No. When Commercialisation Australia first opened for applications in January 2010, ESC assistance was provided in the form of repayable grants. However, the repayment requirement was removed from ESC grants in December 2011.

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Case Managers

  1. How will the Case Managers be assigned, and can I choose mine?

    Participants will generally be assigned Case Managers on the basis of geographic proximity and domain expertise. Participants will not be able to choose their Case Manager.

  2. Can I ask my Case Manager to sign a confidentiality agreement?

    No, Case Managers will not sign confidentiality agreements. The use and disclosure of information provided by applicants for the Commercialisation Australia program is regulated.

    For further information, please see Section 4 of the Customer Information Guide.

  3. Can I join Commercialisation Australia and receive the support of a Case Manager without applying for a grant?

    No, this is not possible.

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The Expert Network

  1. How do I join the Expert Network?

    Individuals interested in joining the Expert Network may apply by completing an Expression of Interest form available under the Join the Expert Network section of this web site. Expressions of Interest may be submitted at any time.

    For further information, please see the Expert Network Guidelines.

  2. Are members of the Expert Network paid?

    No. However, reasonable travel costs associated with Expert Network activities may be reimbursed.

    For further information, please see the Expert Network Guidelines.

  3. How often can I expect to be invited to support Commercialisation Australia Participants?

    The frequency of referrals to individual Network Members is likely to vary and will depend upon the skill set of the member and the requirements of Participants at any given time. As the number of Participants in the program builds up, the chances that an individual member will be called upon will increase.

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Commercialisation Australia Board

  1. Is Commercialisation Australia funding delivered in rounds? Are there cut-off dates when applications need to be received?

    Commercialisation Australia is an on-going program, and there are no closing dates for applications. Applications are assessed on a continuous basis.

    For further information, please see Section 3.3 of the Customer Information Guide.

  2. Who is on the Board?

    The Board consists of seven members, including the CEO, who is an ex-officio Board member. The Board has experience across the research, industry and investment communities. A list of Board members is available in the Board section of this web site.

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Commercialisation Australia Chief Executive Officer

  1. Who is the CEO of Commercialisation Australia? What does the CEO do in relation to the program? How do I contact the CEO?

    Mr Doron Ben-Meir is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Commercialisation Australia. The CEO is responsible for the overall design and functioning of the program. The CEO holds an ex-officio position on the Commercialisation Australia Board. The CEO is also ultimately responsible for determining the eligibility of applications. The CEO can be contacted by sending an email to CEOofCA@industry.gov.au.

    For further information, please see Section 1.6 of the Customer Information Guide; and About us.

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Application Form

  1. How do I get a copy of the Stage 2 Application Form?

    The Stage 2 Application Form is available from your Case Manager after you have completed and submitted a Stage 1 Application Form and have been assessed as eligible to apply for Commercialisation Australia assistance. A sample application form is available from the Commercialisation Australia website.

    For further information, please see Section 4.2 of the Customer Information Guide.

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Eligible Partner Entity

  1. Who approves Eligible Partner Entity (EPE) applications?

    The CEO of Commercialisation Australia assesses and approves applications to become an EPE. The relevant application form can be requested from the CEO by emailing CEOofCA@industry.gov.au.

    The CEO or a staff member will discuss with you the requirements and the process for becoming an eligible partner entity before providing you with an application form to complete.

    For further information, please see Section 2.1 of the Customer Information Guide.

  2. If my EPE application is approved, will potential participants be referred to me?

    No. However, once approved, eligible partner entities will be listed on the Commercialisation Australia website.

    For further information, please see Section 2.1 of the Customer Information Guide.

  3. How do I locate an EPE?

    A list of approved EPEs is published on the Commercialisation Australia website under the Researchers and Individuals section.

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