A major flaw in the scheme is that it does not pay for mentors to take part and does not permit grants to be used to pay mentors. There are nay number of organisations which would like my advice for free. So I tend to only provide this for genuine non-profit projects with social benefits. Under previous government schemes I was paid to help with start-up ideas for for-profit ventures. There seems to be no incentive for me to take part in this scheme, where the government employees and the company get funded, but I do not.
This scheme might fit well with the InnovationACT program, which encourages ideas from students in Canberra. The CA process and submission documents are similar to the materials the Innovation students are required to prepare.
Another flaw in the scheme is that not-for-profit ventures are not eligible. This excludes a rapidly growing area of economic activity.
The major problem I can see with this scheme is the low efficiency of this relatively expensive and complex process handing out a relatively small amount of money. It would be more cost effective to simply give the funds to a non-profit (or for-profit) group and have them hand out the funds.
The latest Funding Offers were 22 for July and August 2010. One paragraph is provided about each project. Some of interest were:
|State||Applicant||Grant||Project Title||Project description|
|ACT||eWater Innovation||338,750||MUSIC Global – Stormwater Quality Management Tool for Overseas Markets||The project will test the global viability of the Australian Music stormwater quality modeling software and lay the foundation for the global release of other eWater products. The project will create a new Music Global product and new support processes. These will be tested through a proof of concept in the UK market. The project will engage an experienced executive who will apply their expertise in the Australian stormwater industry to develop and grow the UK market.|
|NSW||Marathon Robotics||450,000||All-Terrain Autonomous Robotic Target for Live-Fire Marksman||The project aims to build an all-terrain version of the robotic target for live-fire military training, to validate customer requirements and develop a commercialisation strategy. Our current product is a two-wheeled balancing target, used by the Australian Defence Force and being trialled by the US Marine Corps. The project will benefit Australia in terms of export earnings and create flow-on benefits for Australian specialist engineering companies.|
|QLD||Vardr||250,000||Remote Wi-Fi Surveillance System||Vardr’s Proof of Concept grant will be used to develop ultra low-power, wireless camera technology for potential use in a number of security applications.|
|VIC||AquaGen||186,496||SurgeDrive Wave Energy Demo Unit on Lorne Pier||AquaGen is developing a groundbreaking new technology for harnessing the energy of the ocean’s waves to produce electricity or desalinated water. The Commercialisation Australia Project will enable the manufacture, installation and demonstration of the first pilot version of the patented SurgeDrive® system on Lorne Pier in Victoria|
|TAS||Specialised Vehicle Solutions||250,000||Underground Service Vehicle||The project will develop and field validate a demonstration service vehicle for the underground mining sector|
|VIC||Dr James A Broberg||50,000||Storage and delivery of multi-media content from the Cloud||Congestion and downtime on popular web sites due to excessive and unpredictable consumer demand is addressed by Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) that replicate content in numerous locations around the world. MetaCDN targets a major gap in this marketplace through sophisticated and economical “on-demand” use of existing cloud storage providers.|
The Commercialisation Australia list was difficult to read, so I excerpted this from Government Grant Guru.