Incubator Support Program

19 June 2017

Incubators are a vital part of any effective innovation ecosystem. Australia already has over 30 incubators and accelerators, with many of them located in capital cities or focused on information and communications technology. This compares to 1250 incubators in the United States, around 130 in Europe and 24 in Israel.

For example, Australia’s ATP Innovations has helped more than 300 software, hardware and life science startups since its establishment in 2000.

By providing mentoring, office space, professional services and finance, the incubator has helped many startups validate their ideas and achieve success.

Some of the successful businesses ATP Innovations has provided essential support to include the Ingogo taxi booking and payment system, which launched in 2011, and Breathewell, a technology that assists cancer patients in breathing predictably during a course of radiotherapy.

Open to applications 20 September 2016

Incubators help innovative startups to rapidly transform their ideas into globally competitive businesses by giving them mentorship, funding, resources, knowledge and access to business networks.

More high-performing incubators will mean more startups can realise their economic potential earlier. To support existing incubators and to encourage development of new ones, particularly in regions and sectors with high innovation potential, we have added a new component to the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, to complement the existing suite of assistance already provided to businesses under the Programme.

The objective of the Incubator Support initiative is to improve the prospects of Australian startups achieving commercial success in international markets. This will be achieved through assisting Australian startups to develop the capabilities required to realise their economic potential in international markets faster than they otherwise would. The initiative will support entrepreneurial activity and contribute to the development of Australia’s innovation ecosystem.      

Originally announced as an $8 million initiative, the Government has committed a further $15 million over 4 years, increasing the support to both incubators and the startups that benefit from their services.

What is it?

The Incubator Support initiative provides funding through two components to deliver Incubator Support projects, both of which require matched funding from applicants.

The first is support for new and existing incubators:

  1. to help develop new incubators in regions or sectors with high potential for success in international trade, and
  2. to boost the effectiveness of high performing incubators, including funding support to expand their services and/or develop the innovation ecosystem.

The second is support for Expert-in-Residence:

  1. to provide access to top quality research, managerial and technical talent through secondments of national or international expert advisers who will improve their chance of commercial success in international markets.

Grant funding of up to 50 per cent of total Incubator Support Project Values will be available as follows:

  1. a minimum grant amount of $10,000 and a maximum grant amount of $500,000 for New and Existing Incubators per project with a maximum grant period of 24 months.
  2. a minimum grant amount of $1,000 and a maximum grant amount of $25,000 for Expert-In-Residence per project with a maximum grant period of 12 months.

When is it happening?

The Incubator Support initiative opened to applications on 20 September 2016.

Application forms can be found at the business.gov.au website.

Find out more