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$500k grant for start-up for incubators

The Incubator Support Initiative will help incubators improve their performance and deliver projects targeted at helping start-ups realise their global potential.


The Incubator Support Initiative was announced as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) in December 2015 and is a new element of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (the department) is responsible for administering the initiative.


The objective of the Incubator Support Initiative is to assist New and Existing Incubators to:

  • improve the prospects of Australian start-ups achieving commercial success in international markets by delivering a range of activities to Australian start-ups to develop the capabilities required to realise their economic potential in international markets faster than they otherwise would; and
  • develop Australia’s innovation ecosystem including in Australian regions.

The 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:

  • to help develop new Incubators in regions or sectors with high potential for success in international trade, and
  • 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:

  • to organise and provide access to top quality research, managerial and technical talent through secondments of national or international expert advisers who will improve the chance of commercial success for start-ups in international markets.


The Incubator Support initiative offers grants:

  • up to $500,000 for the creation of new incubators in regions or business sectors with strong links to international trade and to boost the effectiveness of high performing existing incubators
  • up to $25,000 for incubators to engage experts-in-residence to ensure start-ups have access to top quality research, managerial and technical talent.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • include eligible activities and expenditure
  • have a total project value of at least $20,000 for New and Existing Incubators grants
  • have a total project value of at least $2,000 for Expert-in-Residence grants

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for Incubator Support Initiative, applicants must:

  • be an existing Incubator or establishing a new Incubator that can foster and facilitate the development of innovative start-ups focused on international trade; and
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  • be one of the following:an entity incorporated in Australia;
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust;
  • a not for profit organisation;
  • a publically funded research organisation (PFRO); or
  • local government.
  • Joint applications from consortia are acceptable, provided you have a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project and is eligible as per the list above.
  • You can apply and be funded for up to two grants at the same time. You can apply for more than two grants only after you have finished one of the funded projects and have provided your final report.

To be eligible you must be able to provide the following:

  • trust deed (where applicable)
  • for New and Existing Incubators applications – evidence from your organisation’s Board (or support from the Chief Executive Officer or director, if there is no Board) that the project is supported, and that the applicant can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • for Expert-In-Residence applications – resumes outlining the experience and capabilities of the expert/s.


Application open on an ongoing basis.

More Information

Posted on September 23, 2016

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