Submission to the Department of Industry, Science and Resources

Submission to the Industry Growth Program consultation

Industry and innovation


ATSE welcomes the Australian Government’s investment in supporting early-stage commercialisation through the Industry Growth Program. This program will enable Australia to build on its research strengths to increase its research translation and commercialisation activity – an area in which Australia trails comparable economies.

ATSE has previously made a submission to the consultation on the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF), recommending that the NRF is utilised to strategically invest in research and commercialisation of technologies for net zero emissions, agriculture and medical innovations, as well as focusing on developing industry in regional Australia (ATSE 2023). ATSE’s submission also recommended aiding medical manufacturing entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to navigate complex regulatory processes. The Industry Growth Program will provide a pathway for SMEs to access expert advice and guidance for navigating regulation as well as other aspects of research commercialisation.

To support successful implementation of the Industry Growth Program, ATSE makes the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Develop and apply a holistic project eligibility assessment based on the Innovation Readiness Level framework that considers technology, business and customer readiness.

Recommendation 2: Encourage applicants for funding to be working with at least one prospective customer for their innovation.

Recommendation 3: Do not exclude SMEs that have achieved first sales from the Industry Growth Program.

Recommendation 4: Deliver advice to participants on preparing Industry Growth Program funding applications and identifying alternative funding opportunities.

Recommendation 5: Create a community of practice and publicly available resource bank for innovative SMEs.

Recommendation 6: Prioritise advisory service participation for underrepresented groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Recommendation 7: Support all advisory service participants to become more inclusive as they develop and grow.

Recommendation 8: Annually publish demographic data for project applications and awarded funding.

Recommendation 9: Leverage the Fellowships of ATSE and other Learned Academies to source experts for the Industry Growth Program committee.

Recommendation 10: Assess innovation impact using metrics following the approach of the Improving Innovation Indicators review.

Recommendation 11: Use a whole-of-systems approach and ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria to measure success of the Industry Growth Program.