Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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No. 1 of 2009 Directions/Other as made
This Direction provides the Board with additional functions, namely providing advice in relation to the administration of the Commercialisation Australia Program, including the merit ranking of applications, and providing advice on new policy approaches or programs relating to early stage commercialisation and includes the policies and practices that the Board must follow in the performance of these functions.
Administered by: Industry, Innovation and Science
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015 s11 item 03
Registered 24 Dec 2009
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR02-Feb-2010
Tabled Senate02-Feb-2010

Commonwealth of Australia

 

Industry Research and Development Act 1986

 

Commercialisation Australia Program

Direction No. 1 of 2009

 

 

I, KIM JOHN CARR, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, acting under sections 18A, 19 and 20(1) of the Industry Research and Development Act 1986, give the following direction to Innovation Australia (the Board)

 

Dated               18/12/09

 

                                                                                                  

Kim Carr

 

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

 

 

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

 

Name of direction

 

1.             This direction is the Commercialisation Australia Program Direction No. 1 of 2009.

 

Commencement

 

2.             This direction commences on the day on which particulars of the direction are published in the Gazette and registered in the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

Object of this direction

 

3.             The object of this instrument is to give direction to the Board in relation to:

(a)                    the provision of technical assessments and additional functions of the Board, namely

(i)            providing technical assessments in relation to the Commercialisation Australia program, including, but not limited to, the merit ranking of eligible applications under the program;

(ii)          assembling information on the early stage commercialisation system which can be used to develop evidence-based policy and to investigate new commercialisation policy approaches and their applicability to the Australian innovation system;

(iii)         identifying a program of research to measure the effectiveness of the Commercialisation Australia program, to support any potential amendment, or development, of the program and to provide input to Government on commercialisation policy; and

(iv)        providing advice on pilot program activity to assess the practicality of alternative/new methods of support for commercialisation.

(b)                   the policies and practices to be followed by the Board in the performance of the functions.

 

Introduction

 

4.             Commercialisation Australia will build the capacity of Australia’s researchers, entrepreneurs and innovative firms to take ideas and research to market.  Commercialisation Australia will tailor assistance to the needs of the researcher or firm, focusing on skills, knowledge and funding. It will support projects with the potential for rapid growth, helping to take the innovation to the marketplace in a timely way. The Board will advise the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on strategic matters in relation to the program and the commercialisation of ideas and research in general. Commercialisation Australia will offer up to $50,000 in funding for expert services, up to $200,000 to employ an experienced executive, up to $250,000 for proof of concept activities and up to $2 million for early stage commercialisation activities.  Importantly, all assistance will be provided with an advisor who will help develop the participant’s skills and knowledge of the commercialisation process and facilitate access to experienced business mentors and specialist advice. The application process will be competitive based on merit criteria and other information as identified under these Directions.  The Board will assess and prioritise applications against the merit criteria and provide technical assessments to the Program Delegate.  The Program Delegate will consider the advice of the Board and select applicants to whom entry into the Commercialisation Australia program and access to specific types and levels of support will be offered. Participants will be monitored closely and on-going support under the Commercialisation Australia program will depend on successfully achieving agreed performance criteria. 

Board to have regard to policy objective

 

5.             The Board must have regard to the following policy objective in giving effect to these Directions:

The policy objective of the Commercialisation Australia program is to build the capacity of, and opportunities for, Australia’s researchers, entrepreneurs and innovative firms to convert ideas into successful commercial ventures, enhancing Australia’s participation and competitiveness in the global economy and generating commercial returns from Australia’s significant investment in public sector research. This is a response to systemic and market failures in the pathway to early stage commercialisation.

The policy objective will be achieved through:

(a)                  Providing a range of assistance including initial advisory services, access to experienced business mentors, and funding for proof of concept and early stage commercialisation activities assessed against clear selection criteria;

(b)                  providing a single coordinated commercialisation support service with multiple entry and exit points, and referrals to other sources of support as appropriate;

(c)                  using stringent initial assessment processes to select applicants with high potential for growth and commercial success, while acknowledging the risk inherent in the pathway to commercialisation;

(d)                  tailoring support to the timing and needs of individual applicants, taking account of their stage of development;

(e)                  ensuring efficient delivery by building on current innovation activities and working with existing service providers;

(f)                    leveraging private capital to maximise the effectiveness of Commercialisation Australia support;

(g)                  sharing the risks by adopting a mutual obligation approach where appropriate;

(h)                  rigorously monitoring the progress of each participant and, if necessary, redirect funding from underperforming participants;

(i)                    regularly collecting data and analysing trends to measure the short and long term impact of the Commercialisation Australia program and to inform future initiatives to support innovation and commercialisation; and

(j)                    enhancing access to business services and domain expertise across the nation.

Interpretation

 

6.             In these Directions:

Act” means the Industry Research and Development Act 1986.

“agreement” means an agreement (or other document) entered into by a participant and the Commonwealth for the provision, by the Commonwealth, of Commercialisation Australia program funding.

“Australian university” has the meaning given to it in the Program Guidelines.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)” means an employee of the Department who has been empowered by the Secretary of the Department, or is otherwise duly authorised, to carry out the relevant function in accordance with the Program Guidelines.

“commercialisation office” means an entity within an Australian university or a PFRA that assists researchers in commercialising their research.

“Department” means the Department administered by the Minister.

“eligible activity” has the meaning given to it in the Program Guidelines.

“eligible applicant” means an entity that the CEO has determined is eligible to make an application for funding and support under the Commercialisation Australia program in accordance with the Program Guidelines.

“eligible application” means an application for funding and support under the Commercialisation Australia program, that is an application that the CEO has determined is eligible for technical assessment and merit ranking by the Board in accordance with the Program Guidelines.

“eligible partner entity” means an entity that assists individuals in commercialising their idea.

“innovator” means the individual that a commercialisation office or eligible partner entity is assisting in commercialising their research or idea, including through an application for Commercialisation Australia funding.

“Minister” means the Minister administering the Act.

“participant” means an eligible applicant whose eligible application has been approved, and may include an innovator.

Program Delegate” means an employee of the Department who has been empowered by the Minister, or is otherwise duly authorised, to carry out the relevant function in accordance with the Program Guidelines

“program funding” or “program funds” means the funding made available by the Commonwealth for the Commercialisation Australia program in any given financial year, being the funding specified in the Portfolio Budget Statement (as varied by any Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement or by the Minister) for that year.

Program Guidelines” means the guidelines that are given by the Minister to the Department, as in force from time to time, to provide a framework for the operation and administration of the Commercialisation Australia program.

“publicly funded research agency (PFRA)” has the meaning given to it in the Program Guidelines.

“technical assessment” has the meaning given to it in section 4 of the Act.

7.             A reference to Board may or Program Delegate may or CEO may is permissive and not mandatory.

8.             A reference to include, includes, including, in particular and for example does not limit the generality of the words to which they refer.


PART 2 – ASSESSMENT AND MERIT RANKING OF APPLICATIONS

Procedure

9.             The Board must assess each eligible application on its merit according to the extent to which the application meets the Merit Criteria.

10.         Subject to clauses 13 and 16, the Board will assess eligible applications and provide a merit ranking of those applications to the Program Delegate.

11.         The Board must consider eligible applications as soon as practicable after those applications have been provided to the Board.

12.         The Board may request additional information from an applicant after the lodgement of an application.

13.         The Board will assess applications first against the ‘Need for funding’ merit criterion. Only applications that demonstrate a high level of merit against this criterion may receive a merit ranking.

14.         The Board may attribute a higher or lower level of relative importance to one or more of the Merit Criteria when assessing applications.

15.         In providing the Program Delegate with a technical assessment for an application the Board may include advice as to whether the relative merits of an application would warrant:

(a)                    an amount of funding less than that for which the applicant has applied; and/or

(b)                   that any approval be subject to particular conditions.

Board may decline to provide merit ranking

16.         The Board may decide to refuse to provide a merit ranking in respect of a particular applicant if it is not satisfied:

(a)                    with the level of merit of an eligible application in relation to one or more of the Merit Criteria; or

(b)                   that the activities described in the eligible application are eligible activities.

Merit Criteria

17.         The merit of eligible applications must be assessed against the following criteria:

(a)                    Need for funding;

(b)                   Commercial plan and potential;

(c)                    Market opportunity;

(d)                   Management capability; and

(e)                    National benefits.

In assessing applications the Board must consider the merit indicators for each Merit Criterion provided to applicants and the Board by the CEO.

18.         The CEO may request that the Board provide advice on indicators of merit for some or all of the Merit Criteria.

19.         The CEO may request that the Board provide advice on setting out any differences in the relative level of importance of Merit Criteria between applications for different eligible activities.

PART 3 – ASSESSMENT OF PROPOSALS FOR VARIATION TO THE AGREED PROJECT

20.         If a participant has submitted a proposal to the Department for approval of changes to an agreed project, including the addition of new activities, the discontinuance of activities, the substitution of new activities in the place of discontinued activities, a variation to milestones, a variation to funding, or a variation to the project’s timeframe, the Program Delegate may request that the Board assess the proposal.

21.         If the Board receives a request under clause 20, it must assess the proposal as soon as is practicable and provide the assessment to the Program Delegate.

22.          In undertaking an assessment of a proposal to change a project the Board will determine:

(a)                    the extent to which the changed project meets the Merit Criteria; and

(b)                   whether the change to the project would:

(i)              significantly improve the outcomes of the project

(ii)      be consistent with the policy objective set out in the Program Guidelines

(iii)     otherwise be appropriate in all the circumstances.

PART 4 – OTHER ADVICE RELATED TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMERCIALISATION AUSTRALIA PROGRAM

23.         The Program Delegate or CEO may request the Board to provide technical assessments of matters associated with applications, activities and projects, or on any other matter relevant to or impacting on a merit criterion, including:

(a)                    technical matters relating to the eligibility of applications, activities or projects against the definitions contained in these Directions;

(b)                   the progress reported by a participant against the milestones for a project or compliance with agreement conditions;

(c)                    matters pertaining to national benefits assessments; and

(d)                   any other matter that pertains to technical merit or the technical assessment of compliance with the terms and conditions of the Commercialisation Australia program or an agreement.

24.         In carrying out technical assessments pursuant to clause 23, the Board will take into account any relevant policies or guidelines relating to the administration of the Commercialisation Australia program that are issued under the Program Guidelines.

25.         If the Board receives a request under clause 23 it must conduct the technical assessment within a reasonable time and provide the technical assessment to the Program Delegate.

26.         The CEO may request advice from the Board on other matters relevant to the administration of the program, including:

(a)                    additional requirements for the application and assessment process;

(b)                   setting the turnover limit(s) in relation to the definition of eligible applicant;

(c)                    the general conditions an entity must satisfy in order to qualify as a commercialisation office or an eligible partner entity;

(d)                   the scope of eligible activities;

(e)                    the conditions of access to skills and knowledge funding and support;

(f)                     the definition of ‘government grant funding’;

(g)                    the terms and conditions for the repayment of early stage commercialisation grants;

(h)                    performance monitoring and exits from the program;

(i)                      the relative allocation of overall program funds to the types of funding available under the program;

(j)                     funding limits and funding ratios in relation to the types of funding available under the program;

(k)                   the development of terms and conditions relating to the possible introduction of equity investments to provide early stage commercialisation funding under the Commercialisation Australia program; and

(l)                      fast-tracking into the Commercialisation Australia program applicants that have successfully completed agreed State and Territory programs.


PART 5 – BOARD TO PROVIDE ADVICE ON POLICIES AND OPERATIONS OF THE PROGRAM

27.         The Board may advise the Minister, or the Minister may request advice, on non-financial administration matters relating to the Commercialisation Australia program, including program administration and the extent to which the program is meeting its objective.

28.         The Board may collect and analyse data on the performance of the Commercialisation Australia program, provide advice to the Minister on such performance, and will cooperate with any independent evaluation of the program.