Incubator Support - Expert-in-Residence
At a glance
Provides business incubators with grants of up to $100,000 to access top quality research, managerial and technical talent through incoming and outgoing secondments of national or international experts. This expertise aims to increase the capabilities of incubators and improve the chance of commercial success for start-ups in international markets.
Who can apply:
At a minimum, you must:
- be an existing incubator or establishing a new incubator that will foster and develop innovative start-ups focused on international trade
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be either an entity incorporated in Australia, an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust, an incorporated not for profit organisation, a publicly funded research organisation, or a local government agency or body.
Other eligibility requirements may apply.
Update on program status
On 14 December 2017, Assistant Minister Laundy announced changes to the Incubator Support initiative.
New guidelines have been issued for the initiative and new application forms are available.
Key changes include:
- an increased grant percentage of up to 65 per cent for New and Existing Incubators projects where at least 80 per cent of project activities are being undertaken in a regional area
- introduction of Regional Incubator Facilitators to assist regional applicants to engage with the initiative
- expansion of the Expert in Residence grants component to allow for outgoing experts to visit host incubators
- a new maximum grant amount for Expert in Residence projects of $100,000.
The $23 million Incubator Support initiative supports the Australian Government’s commitment to:
- assist Australian start-ups to develop the capabilities required to achieve commercial success in international markets and realise their economic potential faster than they otherwise would
- develop Australia’s innovation ecosystem including in Australian regions.
The initiative provides grant funding through two components to deliver Incubator Support projects, both of which require a funding contribution from applicants.
The other component is New and Existing Incubators.
The objective of the Expert in Residence component is to increase the capabilities of incubators and improve the chance of commercial success for start-ups in international markets by organising and providing access to top quality research, managerial and technical talent through incoming and outgoing secondments of national or international experts.
For an Expert-in-Residence project you can apply for a minimum grant amount of $5,000 and a maximum grant amount of $100,000. The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of the total project value and the maximum grant period is 12 months.
To be eligible for an Expert-in-Residence grant, you must:
- be an existing incubator or establishing a new incubator that can foster and facilitate the development of innovative start-ups focused on international trade
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be one of the following:
- an entity incorporated in Australia
- an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
- an incorporated not for profit organisation
- a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) as defined in appendix A of the program guidelines
- a local government agency or body as defined in appendix A of the program guidelines.
You are not eligible to apply if you are:
- an individual, partnership or trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
- a Commonwealth, state or territory government agency or body (including government business enterprises and corporate Commonwealth entities).
We define an incubator as a business support organisation that fosters innovative start-ups focused on international trade, through the provision of services such as seed funding, colocation, mentoring, professional services and access to networks. It can include accelerators and germinators.
Project eligibility criteria
To be eligible, your project must:
- include eligible activities and expenditure
- have an eligible project value of at least $10,000.
Examples of eligible activities include:
- a workshop where an expert gives advice on developing business activities, for example in international markets
- engaging a national or international expert (with knowledge in start-up related technology and international experience) to assist start-ups address key challenges during an incubator program
- national or international exchanges with an expert from another incubator either in Australia or overseas.
- incoming experts must bring new capabilities and undertake activities that help build your capabilities in the expert’s area of expertise. You can include one or more incoming experts in your project.
- an outgoing expert must be embedded in a host incubator that will commit to the sharing of capabilities and knowledge that will benefit your incubator. We allow one outgoing expert per project, however this expert may visit multiple host incubators.
You can apply and receive funding for up to two grants at the same time. You can apply for more than two grants only after you have finished one of the funded projects and have provided your final report.
For more information on eligibility requirements you should refer to the program guidelines.
How to apply
To apply, read the program guidelines and complete the online application form.
How we assess applications
If you are applying for a grant of $50,000 or less we will assess you against the eligibility criteria only.
If you are applying for a grant greater than $50,000 you will need to address the following merit criteria your application:
- Benefit to your incubator, start-ups and the broader innovation ecosystem
You will also need to provide the following information:
- for each incoming expert, a resume outlining their experience and capabilities
- for an outgoing expert, a letter of commitment from the overseas incubators they are visiting and a summary of your project that describes how the new knowledge will benefit your incubator and innovative start-ups in line with program objectives.
For more information on the merit criteria and how we assess your application you should refer to section 12 of the program guidelines.
If your application is successful
If your application is successful, you will receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we will notify you in writing and give you the chance to discuss the outcome with us.
Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements, payment schedule and milestones necessary to receive payments.
For grants under $50,000 and less than six months, we will pay 100 per cent of the grant on execution of the grant agreement. You will need to provide a final report at the end of your project.
For all other grants, we will make an initial payment on execution of the grant agreement. The initial payment and subsequent payments will be up to six monthly in advance, based on your forecast eligible project expenditure and adjusted for unspent amounts from previous payments. Payments are subject to satisfactory progress on the project. We set aside a minimum of 10 per cent of the total grant funding for the final payment. We will pay this when you submit a satisfactory final report.
Information sessions and a live webinar were recently held across Australian metropolitan and regional areas. These sessions provided an overview of the initiative, including eligibility and merit criteria, available funding and details on how to apply.
A recording of the live webinar held on 16 February 2018 is available to view.
Regional Incubator Facilitators
Find a Regional Incubator Facilitator who will assist you with the Incubator Support initiative.
- Program guidelines
- Sample application form
- Sample grant agreement
- Accountants Declaration for grants over $50,000
View grant recipients under the Incubator Support initiative.