Innovation Connections


Innovation Connections assists businesses to understand their research needs, connect with the research sector and fund collaborative research projects.
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Application detail:

You can apply for an Innovation Connections Facilitation at any time.

If you apply for an Innovation Connections Grant, you must apply within 12 months of receiving a Service Report.

 
What do you get?

  • a Service Report that helps you understand your business’s research needs and opportunities
  • a grant that allows you to undertake a research project based on the report
Who is this for?

Businesses in one of the following growth sectors:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • food and agribusiness
  • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • mining equipment, technology and services
  • oil, gas and energy resources

Additionally, businesses that provide enabling technologies and services to the above growth sectors are also eligible to apply.

Overview


Innovation Connections assists businesses to understand their research needs, connect with the research sector and fund collaborative research projects.

We conduct the Innovation Connections in 2 stages.

Stage 1 – Innovation Connections Facilitation

You must first complete stage 1 before you can advance to stage 2.

The Innovation Connections Facilitation service is free and includes access to a highly-skilled facilitator. Your facilitator will work with your business to understand your research needs. You might:

  • discuss strategic research opportunities in new or existing markets
  • identify critical research areas for improving your products, processes and services
  • find ways for your business to work with the research sector

At the end of the engagement, you will receive a Service Report that outlines your business’s research needs and opportunities.

If your facilitator recommends a collaborative research project, they will connect your business to expertise within the research sector. Your facilitator will also help define a project scope. You can then apply for an Innovation Connections Grant to co-fund the project.

Stage 2 – Innovation Connections Grant

If your facilitator recommends it, you can apply for an Innovation Connections Grant to undertake a research project that addresses the recommendations made in the Service Report.

Research projects must be in collaboration with a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO) and should develop a new idea with commercial potential. Your facilitator will help you decide which of the 3 available grants will suit your business's needs:

  • Researcher Placement – this grant places a PFRO researcher in your business to work on a specific research project (up to a maximum of $50,000)
  • Business Researcher Placement – this grant places a researcher from your business into a PFRO to work on a specific research project (up to a maximum of $50,000)
  • Graduate Placement – this grant helps employ a graduate or post-graduate with a relevant degree into your business to work on a specific research project (up to a maximum of $30,000)

Innovation Connections Facilitation


Eligibility


We recommend that you contact a facilitator in your state before you start, to find out if our service is right for you. A facilitator can also assist with your application

What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for an Innovation Connections Facilitation, your business must:

  • be a solvent, for-profit, non-tax-exempt company that is registered for GST and incorporated and operating in Australia
  • be a company with trading activities that are the majority of its overall activities
  • have filed Business Activity Statements showing ongoing trading in at least 3 successive years
  • not have received an Innovation Connections Facilitation before

Your business’s annual turnover or operating expenditure in 1 of the last 3 financial years must be between $1.5 million and $100 million. If your business is in remote or Northern Australia, your annual turnover lower limit is $750,000.

You must also satisfy one of the following:

  • operate in one or more growth sectors
  • provide enabling technologies or services to one or more of the growth sectors
  • show a commitment to, and have the skills, capability, intellectual property or expertise to operate in, one of the growth sectors in the future

Refer to the Customer Information Guide for more information on the eligibility criteria for Innovation Connections.

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Apply for Innovation Connections Facilitation


If you think you're ready to apply for an Innovation Connections Facilitation, make sure you:

  • talk to a facilitator to make sure this is the right program for you
  • can prove that you've operated in Australia for 3 consecutive years
  • conduct business in one of the growth sectors
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Innovations Connections Grant


Eligibility


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for an Innovation Connections Grant, your business must:

  • have received a Service Report
  • apply within 12 months of receiving the report
  • be able to fund the total project costs, as the grant is paid after completion of the project
  • not use in-kind contributions or funds from other government grants or programmes to cover the project costs
  • not have received an Innovation Connections Grant in the last 5 years, unless you have confirmation that you can apply for a supplementary grant

Apply for an Innovation Connections Grant


To apply for an Innovation Connections Grant, make sure you have:

  • received your Service Report within the last 12 months
  • spoken with your facilitator about your suitability for a grant
  • found a PFRO research partner

Need help?

Contact us for help with your application or to find out more.

Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia

Customer stories


Innovation Connections has helped more than 1000 Australian small and medium sized businesses. These businesses come from all Australian states and territories and include chocolate makers, manufacturers and horticultural service providers. We help connect these businesses to an Australian Publicly Funded Research Organisation to collaborate on research projects.

Key documents


Customer information guide

Project contract template