Funding Opportunities

While the Australian MTP sector receives almost half the research funding dollars from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council - $775 million in 2015 - funding shortfalls in the early stages of clinical development are common and attracting private capital is difficult due to the high cost, high-risk scenario. Translating MTP innovation past these so-called “twin valleys of death” in the development stage is an impediment to the long-term success of the sector. There are various grants and other forms of funding available to assist, please click below for details.

MTPConnect Project Fund Program

MTPConnect is charged with driving innovation and growth in the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector. With the sector on the cusp of realising it’s full commercial potential, MTPConnect is kickstarting collaborative, industry-led projects through a dollar-for-dollar matched Project Fund Program.

We want to invest in big, bold ideas to improve the productivity, competitiveness and innovative capacity of the MTP sector. We want to deliver results on a national scale that have sector-wide impact, including for SMEs.

We are looking for consortia large and small to creatively address some of the barriers to growth, as outlined in our 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan, to share in a funding pool of $15.6 million. Head to the Project Fund Program page for more details.

BioMedTech Horizons program

Delivered by MTPConnect, the Australian Government’s $35 million BioMedTech Horizons program is an initiative of the Medical Research Future Fund to support innovative collaborative health technologies that address key health challenges.

Investments from the program will be focused on supporting cutting-edge ideas towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation. Head to the BioMedTechHorizons page for more details.

Other funding available to the MTP sector

There are more than 100 grants on offer in Australia, applicable to the MTP sector. Finding the grants and funding that you are eligible for can be confusing and time consuming, which is why MTPConnect has created a comprehensive list below of pertinent Federal and State-based grants that may be of interest.

Federal

Biomedical Translation Fund To remove the bottleneck prevalent in the lengthy commercialisation process, the Federal Government is establishing a $250 million Biomedical Translation Fund which will invest in promising biomedical innovation and commercialisation.
Entrepreneurs' Program The Australian Government’s flagship initiative for business competitiveness and productivity and offers support to businesses through three elements:
  1. Accelerating Commercialisation, helping entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses address key challenges in the commercialisation pathway of bringing novel products, processes and service to the market;
  2. Business Management, provides advice and facilitation services to improve business capabilities and networks;
  3. Innovation Connections, helping small and medium businesses to access knowledge, engage with researchers and foster innovation.
Business.gov.au

The Federal Government’s Single Business Service gateway includes a comprehensive Grants & Assistance Finder which provides business with an indication of what assistance is available from State and Federal governments.

The second round of the Global Innovation Linkages Program is open until 14 November 2018.

ARC Linkage Projects The Australian Research Council’s “Linkage Projects” scheme provides funding to eligible organisations to support research and development projects which, among other things, build the scale and focus of research in the national Science and Research Priorities.
International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant This competitive grant opportunity will provide support for Australian research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts. Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a single clinical trial that will achieve the following outcomes: promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials research through the establishment and co ordination of clinical trial site/s in Australia; and provide high-quality evidence of the effectiveness of novel health treatments, drugs or devices in ‘usual care’ settings, which will support a decision on whether to deliver the intervention in an Australian setting. Novel health treatments include new and innovative applications of existing interventions.
Industrial Transformation Research Programme (ITRP) This ARC programme encourages and supports university-based researchers and industry to work together to find solutions to a range of issues facing Australian industries. The Programme is awarded through two schemes – Research Hubs or Training Centres – with medical technologies and pharmaceuticals being a key priority area. These schemes foster important collaborative research, joining researchers and industry to solve problems and develop new products, processes and services to transform Australian industries.
Australian Nanotechnology Network (ANN) ANN has funding support available to postgraduate students and early career researchers (within 5 years of award of PhD degree) for travel and accommodation expenses within Australia, including collaborative visits to Industry. ANN also offers postgraduate students and early career researchers (within 5 years of award of PhD degree) Overseas Travel Fellowships to support for travel and accommodation expenses associated with research visits of up to 3 months duration at collaborating research institutions and industry overseas.
STC Australia STC Australia has been an incubator of small tech companies since 2005 and administers several grant and voucher programs, promoting commercialisation and entrepreneurship around next-generation innovations. They have a special interest in the convergence of biotechnology, medical devices, life science and information technology. Some of their grant programs are as follows:

Tapping In – Students and recent grads can get free access to desk space in STC’s The Tap coworking space.

Soft Landings – Recognising that most Australian start-ups are born global, STC has a broad network of “soft landing sites.” You can access a hot desk to work from, meeting rooms, and facilitated introductions to relevant cluster members.

Internationa Trade Missions – See information on upcoming trade missions and to submit an expression of interest to participate.

Medtech’s Got Talent – a unique entrepreneurship challenge supporting emerging entrepreneurs to develop and refine skills in pitching a business concept, developing a technology roadmap and launching commercialisation activities for their medical technology innovations, with the chance to win up to $40,000.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is providing grants of financial assistance to support health and medical research and innovation, with the objective of improving the health and wellbeing of Australians.

GrantConnect

GrantConnect provides centralised publication of forecast and current Australian Government grant opportunities and grants awarded.

Victoria

Visit the Victorian Government website for a list of all of their business grants and assistance

Future Industries Fund

In March 2016, the Victorian Government launched the $200 million Future Industries Fund, focused on industry sectors that have the potential to drive significant jobs growth and attract investment into the future, including the MTP sector. Complementary to this Fund, the Sector Growth Program provides grant funding for Victorian-based projects that align with future industries sector strategies. The program comprises two funding streams: up to $100,000 is available for scoping, planning and feasibility studies, and up to $1 million is available to implement projects aligned with the future industries sector strategies that will generate new jobs and increase competitiveness of Victorian businesses. All grants must be matched by a minimum cash co-contributions of $1 for every $1 granted. Applications for either stream of the Sector Growth Program must be submitted on behalf of a consortium of organisations that includes at least one Victorian Small to Medium Enterprise (SME).

Future Industries Manufacturing Program

The Future Industries Manufacturing Program offers funding of up to $500,000 to companies to implement new manufacturing technologies and processes in their Victorian operations, providing a critical foundation for growth.

Victorian QuickFire Challenge Johnson & Johnson Innovation have commenced the Victorian QuickFire Challenge and invite medical device innovators to bring their ideas to the growing hub for scientific innovation in the state of Victoria, Australia through the Victorian QuickFire Challenge: Driving Device Innovation. Victoria has one of the world's largest life science clusters composed of medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

Local Industry Fund for Transition

The Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) is part of the Victorian Government’s Towards Future Industries: Victoria’s Automotive Transition Plan, which aims to support workers, communities and businesses affected by the closure of large-scale passenger manufacturing in the State. Grow Your Business The program provides small businesses with support in developing business plans.

LaunchVic LaunchVic works in partnership with entrepreneurs, industry, business, the community and educational institutions to strengthen Victoria's entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem.

Victorian Defence Industry Supply Chain Program

The Victorian Defence Industry Supply Chain Program supports Victorian Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to win more domestic, national security and international defence work.

Boost Your Business

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) has established Boost Your Business Vouchers to support Victorian businesses to become more productive, employ more people, improve market access and in general, increase their scale, diversity and profitability.

New South Wales (NSW)

The New South Wales Government have a number of health and medical research grants, funds and training programs available, ranging from research sponsorship programs, to translational research grants, to a medical devices fund. Visit health.nsw.gov.au for more details.

Early-Mid Career Fellowships

Early-Mid Career Fellowships aims to promote the participation and provide funding to early-mid career researchers in high-quality research projects across the spectrum, from basic sciences through to health services and population health research, as well as develop skills in priority areas, ranging from health service and systems design, to health economics.

Growlab:

Cicada Innovations second incubator program brings Australian agriculture and food technologies to the world. By supporting deep tech founders covering the entire value chain we help build new businesses built on biotechnologies, remote sensing, new food processing techniques and faster, better approaches to research and development.

Genomics Collaborative Grants

The NSW Genomics Collaborative Grants Program supports researchers as they undertake ground-breaking human genomic medicine research. The grants allow NSW researchers access to the latest whole genome sequencing technology at the Garvan Institute (utilising the HiSeq X Ten) and to engage bioinformatics services.

Medical Devices Fund

The Medical Devices Fund is a NSW Government initiative recognising competitive technology development and commercialisation program that aims to:

  • Provide support to individuals, companies, public and private hospitals, medical research institutes, universities and the medical devices industry
  • Take local innovations to market
  • Increase the uptake of cost effective NSW medical devices by the health system where it contributes to improving patient outcomes

More than $35 million has been awarded to 20 outstanding new medical technologies since the Medical Devices Fund began in 2013. In the 2017-2018 financial year the Fund has over $8 million available.

Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program

The NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP) is a unique career development opportunity that focuses on medical device development and commercialisation.

The program fulfils a commitment to build medical device commercialisation capacity in NSW and contributes to the discovery and application of new treatments and diagnostic techniques to improve patient outcomes.

Bioinformatics Collaborative Grant and Training Program

The Office for Health and Medical Research developed a Bioinformatics Collaborative Grant Program for a proof of concept project to test opportunities to link data or exchange knowledge between health care, health systems, population health research, and biological sciences. The project was intended to demonstrate the benefits of data linkage to researchers, health professionals and the public of NSW.

NSW Business Chamber

The NSW Business Chamber has extensive access to international networks for Australian businesses to reach global markets. Its resources provide free assistance for exporters, information on trade documentation and how to gain an advantage to export into China.

Translational Research Grants Scheme

The Translational Research Grants Scheme funds research projects that will translate into better patient outcomes, health service delivery, and population health and wellbeing. The scheme provides grants to staff within NSW local health districts, specialty health networks, the Ambulance Service of NSW and NSW Health Pathology. Applicants are encouraged to partner with other research organisations such as universities and medical research institutes, however research projects must be led by an employee of a host organisation within the health system. The scheme is designed to accelerate the development of research capability and evidence translation within NSW Health.

Boosting Business Innovation Program

The NSW Department of Industry has invested $18 million in the Boosting Business Innovation Program, giving small businesses access to research organisations to build strong local business communities and stimulate economic growth in metropolitan and regional NSW.

The program is boosting:

  • A networked innovation ecosystem across NSW
  • Additional external funding
  • Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) who want to scale up and innovate
  • The regional start-up sector and creating innovation clusters across the state
  • Access to high tech equipment and technical expertise research by SMEs and start-ups through TechVouchers

South Australia (SA)

Health Industries Fund

The $6 million Health Industries Fund aims to attract life sciences investment to Adelaide. The fund disbursed $3 million in 2016-17 and another $3 million in 2017-18. The Health Industries South Australia agency has helped attract more than $45 million of investment to the state, securing more than 200 permanent, hi-tech, high-value jobs in Adelaide.

South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund (SAECF)

South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund (SAECF) 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 a maximum of $500,000 + GST with matched funding required in most cases.

South Australia Venture Capital Fund

The South Australian Government has opened its VC Fund to invest in South Australian companies to accelerate growth and commercialisation. The management of the fund is by Blue Sky Venture Capital and will assess applications as they are provided.

Key facts of the Fund:

  • Enable innovative South Australian ventures to secure funding and accelerate growth into national and global markets, stimulating economic activity and job creation.
  • Strengthen the competitiveness of local early-stage entrepreneurs and companies to attract private sources of co-investment from national and international investors.
  • Earn a commercial rate of return for investors, including the South Australian Government, and commensurate with industry standards for early-stage venture capital funds.

Innovation Voucher Fund

The Innovation Voucher Program aims to stimulate innovation in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) through collaboration with public and private research providers to develop new manufactured products or processes and drive productivity and business profitability. Vouchers up to $50,000 are awarded on a competitive basis to eligible research and development projects that partner with SMEs with an annual turnover of less than $200 million. SMEs are required to provide a financial contribution to the project which is determined by annual turnover.

Export Partnership Programme

The Export Partnership Program provides funding assistance for small and medium-sized businesses to access new global markets through marketing and export development opportunities. The Export Partnership Program can help local businesses to:

  • Research feasible overseas markets
  • Develop marketing material for distribution overseas
  • Participate in international trade shows, trade missions and overseas business programs
  • Adapt websites for specific international markets
  • Access cultural and export training, mentoring and coaching services
  • Support incoming buyers.

Medical Device Partnering Program

The Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) isn’t a government program, but has received funding through the MTPConnect Project Fund Program to be rolled out nationally, and is having great impact in SA. The Program supports the development of cutting-edge medical devices through unique collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government.

The program facilitates the development of medical devices by coordinating the efforts of key stakeholders. It provides a mechanism for the development of prototypes, proof of concept and/or commercialisation planning for potential Australian medical device products. We have a particular focus on finding solutions for clinicians, the ageing and the disabled.

Queensland

The Queensland Government have a number of science and innovation grants to assist researchers and businesses to drive innovation and productivity.

Biofutures Industry Deveoplemt Fund

The Biofutures Industry Development Fund is a $5 million repayable fund to help well-advanced industrial biotech proponents to get large-scale projects through the final stage of financial due diligence to secure financing from investors. The fund helps companies with new projects reach a point at which they can better access venture capital, supporting companies pursuing innovative industrial biotech and bioproducts projects and enhancing Queensland’s reputation as a supportive investment location for the biofutures industry.

Biofutures Commercialisation Program

The BiofuturesCommercialisation Program seeks to attract national and international bioindustrial expertise to partner with Queensland researchers and/or businesses to scale-up and test new or improved technologies and processes from the pilot or demonstration scale in Queensland.

  • Grants of up to A$250,000 (excluding GST) were provided for pilot scale projects of up to two years' duration.
  • Grants of up to A$1M (excluding GST) were provided for demonstration scale projects of up to two years' duration.

Industry Attraction Fund

The Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund has been designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, attract businesses to Queensland, drive productivity improvements and help position the state as an attractive investment destination with a strong innovation and entrepreneurial culture.The fund will target a wide range of innovative and emerging industries to invest in Queensland.

Biomedical Launchpad

The Launchpad is an initiative of the Queensland Government, through the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) in partnership with ON, CSIRO’s innovation program, and is specifically designed for Queensland-based biomedical start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises.

Ignite Ideas Fund

Advance Queensland's Ignite Ideas Fund supports startups and small to medium (SMEs) Queensland businesses to commercialise market ready innovative ideas that will help them grow and compete in a global market and create new jobs.

Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences (Q-CAS) Collaborative Science Fund, supporting joint research by scientists in Queensland and at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This fund encourages important scientific and technical research collaborations that aim to deliver future economic, social and environmental benefits for Queensland and China and helps researchers to jointly undertake practical and applied science and research projects in the areas of identified priority.

Smithsonian Fellowships Program

Also available to the Queensland MTP sector is the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships Program, which supports collaborative projects between the Queensland Government and the Smithsonian Institution, based in the United States. It provides funds for fellows from Queensland's research, education and cultural sectors to visit a Smithsonian Institution facility in the United States and complete a project.

Innovation Partnerships Program

Innovation Partnerships program positions Queensland as a global innovation hub with grants to Queensland research organisations to collaborate on research projects with industry, with Grants of up to $1.5 million over 3 years are available to eligible Queensland-based organisations.

Business Development Fund

Business Development Fund helps to turn ideas into reality with co-investment in Queensland businesses at the forefront of commercialising ground-breaking research or innovations, with Funding of between $125,000 and $2.5 million in a Queensland business.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Private Practice Fund (PPF)

PPF Major Grants are aimed to support short-term applied research projects or larger requests for seed funding. Large grants will be limited in number and are aimed to provide either a near miss funding scheme or a stepping-stone for early to mid career researchers who are judged on the basis of their application to have good prospects for future competitive funding from other sources such as the NHMRC.

Trade Connect Grant Program

The ACT Government’s Trade Connect grant program, an initiative of the CBR Trade and Investment Development Fund, is designed to help Canberra based businesses with a range of export market development activities. Examples of funded activities include:

  • Market visits
  • Development of marketing material
  • Promotion and advertising
  • Trade show participation
  • Incoming buyer visits
  • Market research
  • Mentoring

Innovation Development Fund

The CBR Innovation Development Fund was announced as part of Confident & Business Ready: Building on Our Strengths , the ACT Government’s new business development strategy released in May 2015. The Fund is a key program response to the strategy’s major policy pillar of accelerating innovation to create wealth and jobs in Canberra. The CBR Innovation Development Fund – Competitive Grants are aimed at supporting a range of initiatives that develop the capability and investment in the ACT’s innovation ecosystem as well as enhancing collaboration and broadening access to services and resources in the ecosystem.