Sole trader

Commercialisation Australia confirms grants pipeline flowing again

By Patrick Stafford
Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Grants are back on the table, it seems, with Commercialisation Australia now confirming the organisation is handing out new grants to small businesses after a temporary freeze.


The news comes after the Federal Government also put the Clean Tech Investment programs back on the market following a short hiatus as it scrounged the bottom of the budget for savings.


"That has now been resolved," Commercialisation Australia chief executive Doron Ben-Meier told SmartCompany this morning.


"The review has been completed, and Commercialisation Australia is back to normal. We have the same funding profile, and we are processing new grants just as before."


While the Federal Government confirmed last week grants have been renewed, there had been no word on whether applications were being received for new payments.


Ben-Meier confirmed grants were placed on a temporary pause last month, while separate reports also claimed every single grant in the government's arsenal was put on hold as well.


"They conducted the review, got it done quickly and, in the end, it really wasn't an inconvenience for most people."


"Obviously, people prefer that it hadn't happened in the end, but everything is fine and we're full steam ahead."


The good news started last week, when the government lifted its two-month freeze on the Clean Technology Investment Programs.


The review didn't come without causalities, however. The government announced in the mid-year budget update the Export Market Development Grant would be stripped of $25 million a year for the next four years, while the AusTrade system itself would be reorganised.


Exporters lamented the cuts, furious the government hasn't been able to fully fund the program for several years now. They pointed out that for every dollar granted in funding, several more come back from business.


Ben-Meier says he remains confident the Commercialisation Australia scheme is delivering its promised benefits.


"We're keen to see good opportunities and are always looking. We've got over 300 in the portfolio, a number are doing very well, and it's only going to get better."


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

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