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Entrepreneurs' Programme Direction No.1 of 2016

Authoritative Version
This Ministerial Direction directs the Innovation and Science Australia board to provide merit assessments in relation to the Entrepreneur's Programme initiatives to the Minister administering the Industry Research and Development Act 1986.
Administered by: Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Registered 05 Dec 2016

Entrepreneurs’ Programme Direction No.1 of 2016

Industry Research and Development Act 1986

I, Greg Hunt, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, make this Ministerial Direction under section 19 of the Industry Research and Development Act 1986.

Dated   1 December 2016          

GREG HUNT

_______________________

Greg Hunt

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science


 

Part 1: Preliminary

1              Name of Ministerial Direction

                This is the Entrepreneurs’ Programme Direction No. 1 of 2016.

2              Authority

                This Ministerial Direction is made under section 19 of the Industry Research and Development Act 1986 (the Act).

3              Commencement

1)         This Ministerial Direction commences the day after this notifiable instrument is registered.

4              Interpretation

1)         In this Ministerial Direction:

Accelerating Commercialisation means the Accelerating Commercialisation element of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme as defined in the Programme Guidelines.

Actmeans the Industry Research and Development Act 1986.

Commercialisation officemeans an entity of a Publicly Funded Research Organisation, or an Eligible Corporation controlled by one or more Publicly Funded Research Organisations, that assists researchers in commercialising their intellectual property.

“Commercialisation Project” means a project which aims to commercialise novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and/or services in accordance with the Programme Guidelines.

“Department” means the Department of the Minister responsible for administering the Act.

“Direction” means this Ministerial Direction.

“Eligible application” means an application for funding under either Accelerating Commercialisation or Incubator Support that is an application that meets eligibility criteria set out in the Programme Guidelines.

“Eligible Corporation” means an eligible corporation as defined in the Programme Guidelines.

Eligible partner entitymeans an Eligible Corporation whose primary purpose is research but also aims to commercialise the resultant intellectual property, and whose application for registration as an Eligible partner entity has been approved by the Programme Delegate.

“Entrepreneurs’ Programme” means the Entrepreneurs’ Programme as defined in the Programme Guidelines.

“Funding Agreement” means a legally binding agreement between the Department and a Recipient, which may include a Letter of Agreement or a Grant Agreement.

Grantmeans the funds provided by the Department to the Recipient as set out in a Funding Agreement or Grant Agreement under the Programme.

“Growth Sectors” means priority industry sectors: Advanced Manufacturing; Food and Agribusiness; Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources.

“Incubator Support” means the Incubator Support element of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme as defined in Programme Guidelines.

“Incubator Support Project” means a project delivered under the New and Existing Incubator component of Incubator Support in accordance with the Programme Guidelines.

“The Board” means the Innovation and Science Australia statutory board, established by the Act.

Ministermeans the Minister administering the Act.

New and Existing Incubator componentmeans the component of the Incubator Support Initiative that aims to support new and existing incubators to:

·                help develop new Incubators in regions or sectors with high potential for success in international trade, and/ or

·                boost the effectiveness of high performing Incubators, including funding support to expand their services and/or develop the innovation ecosystem.

Programme 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 Programme Guidelines.

Programme Guidelines” means guidelines that are given by the Minister to the Department to provide a framework for the operation and administration of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO)has the meaning given to it in the Programme Guidelines.

“Recipient” means the entity which enters into a Funding Agreement with the Department and receives payment of a Grant under the Programme.

2)         A reference in this Direction to “Board may” or “Program Delegate may” is permissive and not mandatory.

5              Object of this Direction

The object of this Direction is to give direction to the Board in relation to:

(a)                      providing merit assessments to the Programme Delegate in relation to the Entrepreneurs’ Programme – Accelerating Commercialisation Grants, but not limited to, the merit ranking of Eligible applications for these Grants;

(b)                     providing merit assessments to the Minister in relation to the Entrepreneurs’ Programme – Incubator Support Grants under the New and Existing Incubators component including, but not limited to, the merit ranking of Eligible applications for these Grants; and

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

6              Introduction

1)         The Board has responsibility for the strategic oversight of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

2)         Accelerating Commercialisation provides expert guidance, connections and financial support to assist small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to find the right commercialisation solutions for their novel product, process or service.

3)         Incubator Support provides financial support to assist new and existing incubators to assist Australian start-ups to achieve commercial success in international markets.

4)         The Board will advise the Programme Delegate on merit assessments in relation to Accelerating Commercialisation Grants.

5)         The Board will advise the Minister on merit assessments in relation to Incubator Support Grants under the New and Existing Incubator component.

6)         Accelerating Commercialisation Grants will provide support for eligible Commercialisation Projects, and Incubator Support Grants will provide support for eligible Incubator Support Projects, in accordance with the Entrepreneurs’ Programme – Programme Guidelines.

7)         The application process will be competitive and based on merit criteria and other information as identified under these Directions. The Board will assess applications against the merit criteria and provide merit assessments to the Programme Delegate for Accelerating Commercialisation Grants and the Minister for Incubator Support Grants under the New and Existing Incubator component.

8)         The Programme Delegate will consider the Board’s advice and select applicants to receive an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant to access specific types and levels of support.

9)         The Minister will consider the Board’s advice and select applicants to receive an Incubator Support Grant under the New and Existing Incubator component.

10)     Recipients will be monitored closely and on-going support will depend on meeting funding agreement obligations.

7              Board to have regard to policy objective

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

(a)                    The policy objective of Accelerating Commercialisation is to encourage and assist small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to commercialise novel products, processes and services;

(b)                   The policy objective of Incubator Support is to assist new and existing incubators to improve the prospects of Australian start-ups achieving commercial success in international markets. This would be achieved through assisting Australian start-ups to develop the capabilities required to realise their economic potential in international markets faster than they otherwise would; and

(c)                    develop Australia’s innovation ecosystem.

Part 2: Assessment and Merit Ranking of Applications Procedure

8.             Merit Criteria and Ranking

1)         The merit of Eligible applications must be assessed as described in the Entrepreneurs’ Programme – Programme Guidelines.

2)         For Accelerating Commercialisation, subject to clause 9(3), the Board will assess each Eligible application on its merit, according to the extent to which the application meets the merit criteria.

3)         For Incubator Support, subject to clause 9(4), the Board will assess each Eligible application on its merit, according to the extent to which the application meets the merit criteria.

4)         The Board will provide a merit ranking of applications to the Programme Delegate in the case of Accelerating Commercialisation Grants and to the Minister in the case of Incubator Support Grants under the New and Existing Incubator component.

9.             Assessment Procedure

1)         The Board must consider Eligible applications as soon as practicable after those applications have been provided to the Board.

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

3)         For Accelerating Commercialisation Grant applications:

(a)                    The Board will assess first against the ‘Need for funding’ merit criterion. Only applications that demonstrate a ‘Need for funding’ against this criterion may receive a merit ranking;

(b)                   Applications from Commercialisation offices and Eligible partner entities are not required to satisfy the ‘Need for funding’ merit criterion, and will not be assessed against this merit criterion;

(c)                    The Board will attribute a higher level of relative merit to applications that have Commercialisation Projects within the Growth Sectors through additional credit against the ‘National benefits’ merit criterion when assessing applications.

4)         For Incubator Support Grant applications the Board will assess all merit criteria concurrently.

5)         In providing the Programme Delegate with a Merit Assessment for an Accelerating Commercialisation application the Board may include advice as to whether any overseas expenditure proposed is appropriate.

Part 3: Assessment of proposals for variation to the agreed Commercialisation Project or Incubator Support Project

10.           Consideration of proposals for variation to the agreed project

1)         If a Recipient has submitted a proposal to the Department for approval of changes to an agreed Commercialisation Project or Incubator Support Project, including:

(a)                    the addition of new activities;

(b)                   the discontinuance of activities;

(c)                    the substitution of new activities in the place of discontinued activities;

(d)                   a variation to milestones;

(e)                    a variation to funding; or

(f)                    a variation to the project’s timeframe;

the Programme Delegate may request that the Board assess the proposal.

2)         If the Board receives a request under clause 10(1), it must assess the proposal as soon as is practicable and provide the assessment to the Programme Delegate.

11.           Assessment of proposals for variation to the agreed project

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 relevant policy objective set out in the           Programme Guidelines; and

(iii)          otherwise be appropriate in all the circumstances.

Part 4: Board to provide advice on policies and operations of the Programme

12.           Minister may request advice

The Minister may request advice on non-financial administration matters relating to Accelerating Commercialisation or Incubator Support.

13.           Cooperation with Evaluations

The Board will cooperate with any independent evaluation of Accelerating Commercialisation or Incubator Support.