Leading the way in Industry 4.0, the advanced manufacturing industry sector has the potential to improve all manufacturers’ productivity and competitiveness with its broad set of technologies, processes and practices. From additive manufacturing to robotics and automation, not to forget nanotechnologies and the use of AI and machine learning, the implementation of cutting edge technology in an industry which has traditionally been slow to adopt bears great potential

With this opportunity at the intersection of hardware and software, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science launched the Advanced Manufacturing Fund to assist companies in developing high value‑added products and services for the global market place.

The fund of $100M has been put together to support programmes which encourage investment in new technologies, stimulate further research and invest in emerging engineers and scientists, with the intention to develop competitive business capabilities in the national Advanced Manufacturing industry sector.

One such programme is the Advanced Manufacturing Early Stage Research Fund which calls for Australian manufacturers to submit their project ideas, in hopes of accessing a portion of $4M to help them take their concepts to the next level.

This fund, which will be running until 2021, has been divided into four annual $1 million funding allocations, to be awarded to smaller firms who want to quickly move an idea into larger-scale research or commercialisation, matching 1:1 between $100,000 and $400,000.

Given this is a high value grant, the application steps are fair, yet not a walk in the park.

To submit a proposal for this funding, the business must complete the following stages:

  1. Expression of Interest: Submit a project summary outlining how the business will achieve a tangible business growth objective in the advanced manufacturing space within a 12 month time period, justifying both the merit of the project and the company’s ability to execute.
  2. Full Application: Upon approval of this EOI, the business will be invited to submit a full application, which describes the project, participants, timeline, budget and market potential. Once reviewed, this application will be submitted for AMGC board approval. A successful application will be notified via email and the project terms negotiation will commence shortly thereafter.
  3. Project Completion: Throughout the grant execution period the team has to track and achieve previously set milestones and report its progress to the fund’s leadership team in order to maintain its grant compliance.

This is just a high level overview of what is required to tap into the highly specialised AMESRF funding opportunity. Since there are many intricacies to a complex application like this, having a chat with a grant expert regarding an application is often a good first step in assessing whether a project is a good candidate for the initiative.

If this is a conversation you would like to have, I would look forward to hearing from you at ayla@catalystsolutions.com.au for a risk-free discussion to assess the feasibility of this funding for your business.

Article written by:

Ayla Kremb, Government Incentives Advisor at Catalyst Solutions Australia 

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