The passage today of legislation to establish Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) will help turn university research into the innovative products and businesses of the future.
Researchers at Australian universities will soon be able to apply for AEA grants to support them exploring proof-of-concept or proof-of-scale partnerships with industry.
The legislation establishes two grant programs: AEA Ignite and AEA Innovate.
The AEA Ignite program will offer funding to support proof-of-concept projects with grants of up to $500,000 for up to 12 months, while the AEA Innovate will offer funding of up to $5 million to support proof-of-scale projects.
Australia ranks in the top ten countries when it comes to basic research, but on the Global Innovation Index we rank 37th for knowledge and technology outputs.
The AEA will encourage collaboration and engagement between industry and universities and help early-stage research progress through to larger scale application.
This is all about taking great ideas from some of our brightest minds and turning them into initiatives that will benefit all Australians.
Under the AEA, projects will align with the National Reconstruction Fund priority areas, which include:
- Renewables and low emissions technologies
- Medical science
- Value-add in resources
- Value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors
- Defence capability
- Enabling capabilities
The pilot program of the AEA Ignite Grants, known as the AEA Seed Grants is currently open with Tranche One closing on 17 March and Tranche Two closing on 5 May.
The AEA is expected to fully launch in the second half of 2023.
More information on the program and how to apply can be found on the Department of Education website.