Support for science and industry

Industry Growth Centres

The Industry Growth Centres Initiative is an industry-led approach driving innovation, productivity and competitiveness by concentrating our investment on key industry sectors.

Growth Centres are independent not-for-profit companies, led by eminent industry leaders. Growth Centres are being established in six sectors of competitive strength and strategic priority:

Growth Centres are working to unlock commercial opportunities and drive innovation by building links between businesses and industry organisations and the science and research sector. They are assisting Australian industry to better capitalise on the excellent research and development undertaken and scientific knowledge generated in Australia.

Growth Centres are also focusing on improving aspects of our economy such as commercialisation, management and workforce skills, access to international markets and regulatory burden.

Growth Centres are helping align programmes with industry priorities and needs, including the NISA, Entrepreneurs’ Programme and Cooperative Research Centres, to contribute to improving the productivity and competitiveness and innovative capacity of their sectors.

The Growth Centres will facilitate engagements between enabling services and technologies, such as Information and Communications Technology, where they provide essential and direct support to the growth sectors.

For more information visit Industry Growth Centres.

Cooperative Research Centres

The CRC Program supports industry led collaborations between industry, research and the community and aims to:

  • Improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially where Australia has a competitive strength, and in line with Government priorities;
  • Foster high quality research to solve industry-identifies problems through industry-led and outcome focuses collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations; and
  • Encourage and facilitate small and medium enterprise (SME) participation in collaborative research.

The CRC Program provides financial assistance through two granting streams:

  • The CRC stream supports medium to long term collaborations of up to 10 years with no cap on the funding amount.
  • The CRC-P stream supports short term collaborative projects of up to three years and $3 million.

For further detailed information on the CRC Program, including information on how to apply, visit business.gov.au or call 13 28 46.

Entrepreneurs' Programme

The Entrepreneurs' Programme is the Australian Government’s flagship initiative for business competitiveness and productivity. It forms part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The programme offers support to businesses through four elements:

  • Accelerating Commercialisation - helps small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to commercialise  novel products, services and processes
  • Business Management - experienced Business Advisers and Facilitators review business operations, including business direction, strategy, growth opportunities and supply chain. They provide a report with strategies for business improvement and work with you to make them happen
  • Incubator Support - assists New and Existing Incubators to improve the prospects of Australian start-ups achieving commercial success in international markets, through helping them to develop their business capabilities.
  • Innovation Connections - experienced Innovation Facilitators work with your business to identify knowledge gaps that are preventing your business growth. The outcome is an Innovation Facilitation Report.

For more information visit Business.gov.au.

Research & Development Tax Incentive

The Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is a targeted entitlement programme that helps businesses to do R&D and innovate by offsetting some of the associated costs. It is a broad-based entitlement programme, open to firms of all sizes in all sectors who are conducting eligible R&D.

For more information visit Business.gov.au.

National Measurement Institute (NMI)

NMI uses its expertise in multi-disciplinary measurement techniques and technology to provide services that can enhance the performance, safety, efficiency and regulatory compliance of your business. NMI also works with industry to provide tailored solutions for their specific needs.

For more information visit the NMI website.

Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Australia applies geoscience to Australia's most important challenges by providing geoscience information, services and capability to Australian industry. Geoscience Australia's strategic priorities are focused on six areas: Building Australia's Resource Wealth, Ensuring Australia's Community Safety, Managing Australia's Marine Jurisdictions, Securing Australia's Water Resources, Providing Fundamental Geographic Information and Maintaining Geoscience Knowledge and Capability.

For more information visit the Geoscience Australia website.

Industry involvement in the Square Kilometre Array

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an international project (currently a partnership of 11 countries) working to build the world’s largest and most advanced radio telescope in Australia and South Africa. The likely spinoffs for Australian industry are a key benefit for hosting the project. Building an instrument the size of the SKA can only be achieved in partnership with industry which will likely produce spin-off technologies in areas such as big data, computing, imaging and renewable energy and remote power solutions.

Australian organisations are currently involved in eight of the 11 consortia undertaking pre-construction work packages to design the telescope, making Australia well-placed to generate ongoing benefits from involvement in the project.

Australia engages with interested companies through the Australian SKA Industry Cluster (ASKAIC). Along with keeping companies up to date on project progress and opportunities, broader industry/science collaborations have emerged, such as the Exascale Data Alliance – an industry-led group of major companies (Cisco Systems, Woodside, etc.) and Universities (Curtin University, University of WA, etc.) working together to tackle the big data challenges with commercial applications well beyond the SKA.

Australia’s SKA site in Mid West WA already hosts two leading SKA precursor telescopes. These have been designed and built in close partnership with industry. For example,

  • the robust, purpose-built casings for the Australian SKA Pathfinder’s (ASKAP) award-winning receivers were designed and built by a small Nowra-based company (Innovation Composites) operating primarily in the marine industry
  • the sophisticated electronic components of ASKAP’s digital systems were developed by Puzzle Precision, a high-reliability electronic assembly service based in Newcastle. What started as a procurement for a small number of simple electronic boards grew into a multi-million dollar contract for this small company.

For more information visit the SKA website.

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