The South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund (SAECF) announced on 18 November 2016 is a new SA State Government grant program established to assist South Australia’s entrepreneurs and innovative organisations looking to commercialise novel products and services.
The SAECF will provide eligible companies and organisations with grants of up to $500,000 + GST with matched funding required in most cases (over 3 tranches).
The SAECF is a competitive grant program established by the South Australian Government to assist South Australian technology companies, university research commercialisation organisations and entrepreneurs to commercialise their intellectual property (IP).
The program provides project-specific grant support aimed at assisting early-stage South Australian projects and start-up companies to achieve key milestones and develop their businesses.
The SAECF grant will also assist businesses based interstate or overseas intending to commercialise and develop their project in South Australia.
TechInSA is a South Australian government funded organisation tasked with fostering the growth and development of the high-tech industry to support economic activity in South Australia.
What funding amount is available?
Applicants may apply for grants of up to a maximum of $500,000 + GST per project from the SAECF, which may be provided in tranches, be subject to achievement of project milestones and must be expended within a specified time frame. The three main phases of funding (and expected matched funding which may be required in most cases) under the SAECF are as follows:
- Phase 1: Up to $50,000 from TechInSA on a 3:1 basis ($3 of SAECF funding for every $1 contributed by the Applicant)
- Phase 2: Above $50,000 & up to $200,000 from TechInSA on a 2:1 basis ($2 of SAECF funding for every $1 contributed by the Applicant)
- Phase 3: Above $200,000 & up to $500,000 from TechInSA on a 1:1 basis ($1 of SAECF funding for every $1 contributed by the Applicant)
Certain grants may be determined to be contingently repayable under the SAECF program (refer to the Repayable Grants heading set out below).
Applications are accepted all year-round. Interested Applicants should complete an Expression of Interest form: Click Here.
Examples of eligible expenditure under the SAECF program for each of the three phases include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Proof-of-concept: Access to and/or protection of intellectual property rights; technical prototyping & development of a minimum viable product; field tests/demonstrations to prove technical feasibility; access to specialist technical equipment/facilities; commissioning market research and testing (including competitor analysis); proving commercial viability by engaging with major customers/potential partners/investors, or developing a plan for regulatory approval.
- Product Development: Evolution/completion of development of final product/process/service; access to specialist manufacturing equipment or production facilities; engagement of technical specialists to fill a skills gap in the development of the product/service; validation of technology/product, or activities to support regulatory approval and safety requirements.
- Early Commercialisation: Accessing state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to achieve first sales; engaging experienced executive(s) to fill a skills gap; executing on first sales or executing a major licensing or other commercial contract(s).
TechInSA will determine if a proposed expenditure is eligible for the purposes of a SAECF grant. TechInSA will make payments for eligible activities upfront or in arrears.
Grants made to university research commercialisation organisations or to Applicants with a turnover of more than A$1 million per annum (GST exclusive) may be provided on a contingently repayable basis. Repayments under contingently repayable grants will be by way of royalties to the full amount plus CPI if the Applicant derives an income involving the IP or project outcomes. If no income is derived after ten (10) years from the project completion date, the Applicant will not be required to repay any grant funds. The terms of repayment of a contingently repayable grant will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
To be eligible, Applicants must meet ALL of the following six (6) criteria:
- The Applicant must be an organisation or individual(s)/organisation(s) in the process of forming a corporation with a South Australian nexus. This includes a body established by or under an Act of the State or a company or registered body within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
An organisation or individual will have a South Australian nexus if the majority of its (or its proposed) business is in South Australia or the Applicant’s project is to be developed in South Australia or the organisation is a South Australian university research commercialisation organisation involved in the commercialisation of an innovative product, process or service. TechInSA has ultimate discretion to determine whether or not any proposed Applicant/project falls within this definition for eligibility requirements.
- The Applicant’s project must be innovative and have strong potential to benefit South Australia. A person or body will be taken to be involved in an innovative venture if the focus or involvement includes one or more of the following activities:
(a) High-technology manufacturing or the development of novel technology related to such manufacturing;
(b) The development or production of innovative or IP focussed products (including software); or
(c) The provision of knowledge-intensive services or processes that use research and development, science or technology and highly skilled workers.
- The Applicant must demonstrate access to the existing and potential IP that will be necessary for the project.
- The Applicant must have an innovative product, service or process for global markets with potential for large revenues and economic activity in South Australia.
- The Applicant must produce evidence of the ability to co-fund a proportion of the project costs (which may include, if deemed appropriate by TechInSA, some proportion of funds from other Government or non-Government grant sources).
- The Applicant must demonstrate that they are otherwise unable to fully fund the activities.
Please note that preference will be given to Applicants with a turnover of less than A$2 million per annum (GST exclusive).
Applications will be assessed by TechInSA and the Panel against the following criteria:
- The feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed business or project;
- The capability, commercial experience and skill of the Applicant organisation’s board and/or management team and the persons involved in the project;
- The need for financial assistance and the extent to which the Applicant commits its own resources (cash and in-kind) to the project;
- Evidence that IP created, developed and commercialised through the project is unique and will occur in South Australia;
- The extent to which the eligible activities will contribute to the development of the Applicant’s organisation; and
- The extent to which the project will provide benefits to South Australia (such as job creation, asset/IP accumulation, accumulation of skills and experience, leveraging of other funding and/or financial returns).
The Application process comprises the following stages:
|1||Expression of Interest||Interested Applicants should complete an Expression of Interest form: Click Here. TechInSA will review Expressions of Interest and Applicants will be notified to let them know whether or not they are eligible to proceed to stage 2.|
|2||TechInSA Meeting||TechInSA will contact Applicants that are eligible to proceed to stage 2 to arrange a meeting.Applicants are encouraged to provide background information before the meeting. The meeting will be a preliminary informal (non-confidential) discussion on the organisation, the proposed activities and eligibility for the SAECF grant.|
|3||Project Proposal & Due Diligence||If the Applicant is invited to proceed to the next stage, the Applicant will be asked to prepare a succinct outline of the proposed project (Project Proposal) including the budget, timeframe, milestones and some background information on the technology and the Applicant. It should cover the key elements of the proposal in light of the stated objectives of the SAECF grant. TechInSA will conduct due diligence on the Project Proposal and on the basis of the Project Proposal, the selected potential Applicant may be invited to submit an Application Form.
Persons associated with the Applicant (e.g. directors and officers of the organisation) will be required to complete a ‘Grant Application Relevant Interest Form’ to declare their relevant interest in the project/company or potential/actual conflicts of interest. Further information on the type of disclosure required will be provided if an Applicant reaches this stage of the process.
|4||Application Form||TechInSA will work with the Applicant to complete the Application Form which requires detailed information relating to the Applicant and the project.|
|5||Presentation||All Applicants will be required to present their proposal to TechInSA. Formal presentations to the Panel and/or TechInSA Board will be required for grants above $50,000.|
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