Australian Innovation Grants: Can Small Business Play Too?

Today, more than ever in human history, technology is transforming and defining how we live, work, and communicate.  Businesses who fail to recognize this fact, do so at their own peril.

Groundbreaking development, research, and innovation are often thought of as the domain of large corporations and publicly held companies.  This is particularly true when one considers who is likely to garner the attention and benefits of government grant programs and initiatives.

In truth, some of the world’s most significant contributions have been made from the basements, garages, and small offices of Australia’s independent entrepreneurs.  Scrappy, nimble, and growth focused; small businesses are the birthplace of moonshot projects.  They are the dreamers and the outside the box thinkers of our business world.

Unfortunately, they are also the most impacted by poor cash flow and restrictive financing options.  This is where governmental grant programs can be a breath of life for small business owners.  Many entrepreneurs often assume, erroneously, that these programs are limited only to the big boys.

They could not be more wrong.

Enter the National Innovation and Science Agenda, or Innovation Australia.  Through this program, the government is providing a suite of programs, grants, and assistance to all Australian businesses. Large and small.

The following are the key areas that small business and particularly startups should be looking into.

  1. Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships:  Partners who are involved in these funds are slated to receive a 10% non-refundable tax offset for all capital they invest in startup companies.  This is the keystone in Turnbull’s efforts to encourage a culture of risk tolerance in investors.  In addition to the tax offset, the maximum fund size for ESVCLPs has been increased to $200 million, up from $100 million.


  1. Writing Off Past Failures:  A change in tax policy will allow businesses who change directions in regards to their business models to write off their previous operations as a R+D cost.


  1. Incubators Warm Up:  With an $8 million incubator support initiative, the government hopes to support the new developments of incubators and accelerators.  This means more access to small businesses and rogue entrepreneurs.


This is an exciting time to be involved in a small business, and the government’s new innovation package means more opportunity, support, and dollars for those all-important startups.  To learn more about the government’s new programs and how you may benefit, go to for more details.

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