The Australian organisations behind 34 new inventions have received grants of up to $2 million to commercialise their projects under the Federal Government’s new Commercialisation Australia initiative.
Commercialisation Australia is designed to assist researchers, entrepreneurs and innovative companies convert intellectual property into sustainable commercial ventures.
In 2010, its first year of operation, Commercialisation Australia awarded a total of $33.6 million for 88 projects.
This year, $13 million has been invested into 34 projects ranging from a cloud-based call centre platform and a whole-body vibrating machine, to dementia treatment medicine and a termite barrier for buildings.
In this latest round of funding, the grants range from $50,000 to $1,984,652, awarded to Queensland-based business Euclideon for a new 3D computer graphics technology.
According to Euclideon, most 3D technology is created for computer games using polygons.
“Euclideon has developed what may prove a groundbreaking advance in 3D technology, creating a search algorithm that will result in 3D images with vastly higher geometry while saving costs and offering greater portability between platforms,” the company says.
“It will have benefits for architecture, games, mining, the sciences and many other industries. The funding will support programmers to covert the system from PC to game consoles, mobile phones and other platforms.”
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, there are four merit-based assistance programs offered within Commercialisation Australia.
Skills and knowledge support helps build the skills, knowledge and connections required to commercialise intellectual property, providing funding of up to $50,000 to pay for specialist advice and services.
Experienced executives provides funding of up to $200,000 over two years to assist with the recruitment of a chief executive officer or other executive.
Proof of concept grants of $50,000 to $250,000 to test the commercial viability of a new product, process or service.
Early state commercialisation repayable grants of $250,000 to $2 million to develop a new product, process or service to the stage where it can be taken to market.
“Each participant is assigned a case manager [who] guides participants through the commercialisation process and facilitates their access to experiences volunteer business mentors,” the spokesperson says.
“The volunteer business mentors have a mix of skills and experience – these include extensive experience in building successful businesses and/or knowledge across a range of specialty fields, and so are well place to offer insights into the commercialisation process.”
Several of the projects in the latest funding round are centered around energy efficiency, including Planet Innovation. A Victorian-based business, Planet Innovation received a proof-of-concept grant of $228,081.
The company has developed a hot water system with significantly increased efficiency through the use of solar-heated air to assist in heating the water.
The system utilises heat pumps that source their energy from solar-heated air in roof cavities and, according to the company, the invention can reduce energy use by up to 50%.
The company says the funding will enable it to complete verification, preparation for manufacturing and commercial launch of the heat pump.