Innovative Investments

10 April 2017

Another round of government grants worth more than $16 million will support Australian innovators engaged in commercialisation and international collaboration.

Nine Australian businesses and research organisations were offered  matching grants totalling $8.89 million under the Global Innovation Linkages program.

And another 15 Australian businesses were offered Accelerating Commercialisation grants totalling $7.4 million under the Entrepreneurs' Program.

Both programs are key elements of the Australian Government's 2015 National Innovation and Science Agenda, which aims to improve on Australia's poor record in commercialising generated knowledge and producing new products through collaboration.

The Global Innovation Linkages program supports businesses and research organisations across the spectrum of Australia's innovation system with grants worth up to $1 million. Successful applicants in the latest round included five Australian businesses, the CSIRO, and the Universities of Western Australia and Newcastle, as well as the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.

Equally broad is the scope of the funded projects, which range from a trial of eco-engineering solutions to improve mine-site rehabilitation by the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and partners in the US, to the trial of a sensing device for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's and dementia by Grey Innovation Pty Ltd and its German partners.

Big Picture Vision's cloud-based technology lets customers upload scans of their eyes to be remotely reviewed by specialists Image: Big Picture Vision
Accelerating Commercialisation grants are targeting early-stage developments from small to medium sized businesses, and are also capped at $1 million.

Since the program was established in early 2015, it has supported 216 business ideas with over $105 million.

An example for a project successful in the latest funding round is a cloud telemedicine service for the screening of eyes that was developed by Big Picture Vision Pty Ltd.

The company's product, which received the maximum available funding of $1 million,  enables customers to upload a scan of their eyes taken at a local health care provider, which then is remotely reviewed by the company's specialists.

Victorian plant business Majestic Selections Pty Ltd is also among the winners. The company has developed an automated system for the production of plant tissue cultures, which aims to reduce planting costs, decrease growing times and achieve higher plant quality in nurseries.