Featured image above: A $1 million accelerating commercialisation grant has been granted to Baraja Pty Ltd to develop 3D laser ‘eyes’ for driverless cars.
The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Greg Hunt, has announced the recipients of a new round of funding that aims to speed up commercialisation of innovative intellectual property by Australian entrepreneurs.
The 22 small- to medium-sized businesses will receive grants ranging from $80K to $1 million, and each company will match their funding dollar-for-dollar.
These ‘accelerating commercialisation’ grants are part of a larger program to help Australia’s business sector generate greater returns on investment in research and remain competitive in a changing global economy. Created as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Entrepreneurs Programme offers access to business management advice, innovation facilitation and incubator support alongside commercialisation funding.
With a focus on new products and services with high growth potential, the $7.6 million in new grants have been allocated across a range of industries considered key to Australia’s economic future, including artificial intelligence, health, agriculture, education, infrastructure and safety.
Baraja Pty Ltd has secured the largest commercialisation grant of $1 million to develop 3D laser eyes that will help self-driving cars navigate complex urban environments . Another two Australian companies have received a combined $460K towards their AI projects. Pat Labs Pty Ltd is attempting to humanise conversation with machines in a user’s own language through Project Turing. Ansah Pty Ltd has created AMRIT, an AI tool that assists engineers, technicians and inspectors to maintain and repair aircraft.
3D Morphic have been allocated a quarter of a million dollars towards software that assists medical professionals to plan surgeries more quickly and at reduced cost using custom orthopaedic devices. Medical Exchange Link is commercialising a secure mobile communication app for medical professionals, and CPIE Pharmacy Services R&D are using their $437K grant to produce a portable, single use drug delivery pump for use in home healthcare.
A total of $754K has been granted towards agricultural initiatives. Rapid Phenotyping is developing a platform for rapid crop analysis and breeding. Australian Functional Foods are creating new food and beverage products from cherries and other fruits using a novel fruit processing technology.
Chatty Kids have received almost half a million dollars towards their online platform, which engages Chinese children in reading and speaking English. The Maker’s Empire is planning to enter the international market with a $399K grant towards its 3D Learning Program, which teaches primary school students to how to use 3D printing.
The largest grant allocated to infrastructure has gone to Eaves Water System International. They have received $613K to commercialise a water system that harvests water from the roofs of residential and commercial properties while eliminating pests, contaminants and debris. Other commercialisation grants have gone to Set Metrics, whose cloud-based tool helps commercial building owners optimise their energy use, and Heuch Pty Ltd, who creates solar refrigeration units to provide remote communities with safe food, water, medicine and emergency supplies.
The government has also invested almost $1 million in products to support workplace and child safety. Life Cell Marine have put together a flotation device that stores essential safety gear to protect marine workers. USM Pty Ltd are commercialising a personal safety monitor that alerts remote workers of potential hazard locations and provides them with emergency communications. CombiTile are building safer playgrounds through improved surfaces and drainage, and Spinflector have created a self-cleaning roadside reflector for mine site safety.
Other technologies supported by the Acceleration Commercialisation grants include a recyclable waterproof material, an app to find sporting events by location and another app that helps designers take colours directly from the physical environment into the digital space. To see a full list of projects and grants, click here.
– Elise Roberts
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