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November 2021

Hi Innovator,

Welcome to INNOVIC’s November 2021 i-Newsletter.

This month we look at the downside of grants and explain how merchandise licensing works.  We outline forthcoming changes to the design act and discuss the EMDG program.  As usual, we include the latest grants, events and free resources for innovators.

We hope you enjoy it.



Tel: 03 8060 3504
Mob: 0402 305 118



Grants:  Beware the downside!

Many start-ups and SMEs apply for grants to help them develop a business idea or grow and expand their products and services. 

Applying for a grant imposes a useful discipline.  To be successful you need to comply with the grant guidelines and deliver products or services according to the schedule, budget and deliverables as specified in the contract. 

Most applications require supporting documentation - usually a business or strategy plan, insurance, evidence of a track record, detailed financials, risk analyses and quotes to justify any proposed costs. 

Large organisations often have in-house grant experts who know how to write successful applications.  But this is not the case with start-ups and small businesses.   So, what is the downside? 

  • Time and skill - applying for grants involves time and work in putting together a cohesive application, collating all the supporting evidence, and providing relevant answers to all the questions.  There is a level of skill involved in writing proposals that many start-ups under-estimate. So don’t get diverted from running your business by wasting time applying for grants for which you are not eligible and aren’t able to justify.  If you are not sure if you meet the criteria, contact the grant provider to find out.

    Keep in mind, if you are successful you will probably have to submit milestone reports, audited financials and end of contract reports so the work load is ongoing.   
  • Making it fit – ask yourself if the grant really fits your business strategy or are you trying to make it fit?  If you need to make significant compromises to fit the grant guidelines, you may be setting yourself up for disaster by having to deliver products and services that are beyond your expertise and resources; employ staff you don’t really need or reach targets that you are not able to attain. The downside is that you may have to repay grant monies if you don’t meet your performance deliverables.
  • Don’t invent new services just to meet the grant guidelines.  If you don’t need expensive imported equipment; a regional office and staff; new vehicles, items that you would not normally purchase etc. don’t include them.  Inventing a new service that you have no experience in delivering may jeopardise your credibility.  Remember that all your grant expenses have to be justified and stand up to scrutiny.
  • Specific criteria – some grants only fund particular types of activities e.g. a website, marketing plan, equipment, export.  Ask yourself if this is a real benefit or priority for your business or is it just a “nice to have”?  Some grants specify the type of organisations, collaborators or specialists you can work with e.g. research organisations, NFPs, etc.  You need to ensure that any collaboration is workable and an appropriate match for your business.
  • Financials – most start-ups are wildly optimistic in their budget estimates.  The common error is to over-estimate the likely revenue or sales and drastically under-estimate the costs.  Mistakes like this can lead to insolvency and a default on the grant contract.  So ensure your financials are realistic as they will be checked.
  • Grant dependency if your business model is dependent on regular grants you are in a very vulnerable position.  Many social enterprises have found this out at their cost.  Rather than continually applying for grants, it may be more worth-while to establish a more stable revenue model. 

If successfully with your grant application you will need to provide evidence of how the funding was spent (audited accounts) and details of the deliverables, outcomes etc.  So fudging it isn’t an option!

There are often long delays in finding out whether your grant application was successful and this can leave you in limbo.  Use this time purposefully to ensure you are ready to go if the grant monies are received or have a back-up plan if you are not successful.

In summary, a grant isn’t simply a life-line to keep your general business ticking over.  Grant monies can only be used for the contracted activities so ensure these align with your business strategy.
Need help?  Contact INNOVIC on (03) 8060 3504 or www.innovic.com.au

How to set up a You Tube Channel

COVID Business Grants and other support to help you re-open 

Want to be part of the new Postal Lane Market in the Melbourne CBD?

The market will run from 19 November to 30 January 2022 and artisans, creatives, retailers, food producers and others are invited to apply. Register your interest. 

How does merchandise licensing work?

This type of arrangement is commonly used in the big brand, fashion, sports, designer wear and entertainment sectors.  The Walt Disney company is the world’s largest licensor of products.  It has copyright and trademarks on all of its characters e.g. Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse as well as brands such as Lucas Films, Marvel and many more.  Hence Disney products can’t be made by a third party without a licencing agreement, and they do pursue unlicensed manufacturers. 

So, how does it work?  The licensor grants the rights to a third party (licensee) to manufacture and distribute the new product lines under terms and conditions and payments to be agreed.

Many high-end fashion brands, celebrities and designers license the rights to their trademarks (or “brand”) to third parties as a way of expanding their product range and/or generating revenue from licensing fees.  So a fashion designer’s logo may appear on a range of household goods, fragrances, cosmetics etc.  Think Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Nike etc. 
Want to know more?  

What’s going on in your neighbourhood?  How to find out.

Does your business need FREE help with a digital problem?

The SummerTech LIVE program matches Victorian businesses with digital needs to tertiary students/recent graduates and educators to innovate, help solve technology problems and support digital transformation.  There is no cost to participating businesses.
Applications Close 1 November 2021.

Want to collaborate with international brands to solve their challenges?

Check out the active projects seeking solutions:

Dealing with negative reviews online 

Planning to export?

You can apply for an Export Marketing Development Grant (EMDG) for eligible marketing activities. e.g.  overseas travel, trade fairs, advertising, IP etc.  You will need to match the funding.

Tier 1: Ready to Export (first time exporters)
2 years and max. $40K per fin. year

Tier 2: Exporting & Expanding
3 years and maxi. $80K per fin. year

Tier 3: Exporting & Expanding & Strategic shifts
3 years and max. $150K per fin. year 

Closes 30 November 2021.  

Video marketing explained

Are you a designer?  Forthcoming changes to the Design Act

IP Australia has announced some changes to the Design Act that will commence on 10 March 2022.  They include:

  • The introduction of a 12 month grace period during which time designers can publicly share their designs without comprising their ability to still apply for design protection;
  • Simplification to the design registration process - enabling a design to be automatically registered 6 months after filing the application.

For more info

Free listing of your Melbourne event 

Looking to raise funds for a good cause?  

Will anyone want your new idea?   Yeah … nah?

How do you find out whether it is worth pursuing your great new idea – or which of your many ideas has the best commercial potential?  INNOVIC can evaluate your idea and clearly outline the way forward and what you need to do next.   We can help you right through the process.

INNOVIC is a commercialisation specialist with over 30 years’ experience.  We can assist with grants, IP, design, development, market research, commercialisation and more.

Call us now on (03) 8060 3504 or go to www.innovic.com.au  to set up a zoom, telephone or in-person consultation.

Running a business from home?  Do you know about legal obligations, licenses, insurance etc? 

Start me up: Protecting and profiting from your new ideas

This free eBooklet from INNOVIC, Matrix Thinking and Griffith Hack includes:

  • How to find new business ideas and opportunities (even in a crisis)
  • Understanding intellectual property; the different types of IP, duration and disputes
  • Legal documents and how to use them
  • What to include in a pitch deck and business plan
  • How to profit from your ideas
  • Useful resources

Download it here


Good Hustle - applications open for a 10 week on-line course for social entrepreneurs starting 15 November 2021.  

A new centre for Innovation will be established at the old GMH site at Fisherman’s Bend in Port Melbourne.  It will focus on advanced manufacturing, engineering and design and will generate high value jobs in defence, aerospace, clean energy and transport. 

The Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs will provide funding for a pre-accelerator program to support early stage start-ups in the ag tech sector. 

Shebah, the female only ride share business, has been placed into voluntary administration.  

La Trobe University's $23m catalyst for innovation - A newly-funded innovation metacentre at La Trobe University will boost business access to world-leading research expertise in food, agriculture, health and wellbeing and digital technologies. The Digital Innovation Hub and the Bio Innovation Hub will accelerate R&D for start-ups and SMEs by connecting them with La Trobe researchers, students and infrastructure. 



Snow Foundation Social Entrepreneurs Fellowships - $100K grant for entrepreneurs who are tackling problems in four key focus areas and benefitting people in key regions.  EOI close 8 November 2021.  

City Activation Grants Program - to $50K for ideas to entice people back to the City of Melbourne.  Closes 12 November 2021. 

Business Event Sponsorship Program - to $10K for businesses and individuals hosting business events such as conferences, showcases, workshops, seminars and networking functions. Closes 12 November 2021.  

Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund: Textiles Innovation - $75K to $250K to support circular economy projects that design-out waste to improve environmental and economic outcomes for Victoria. Closes 15 November 2021.
Stream 1 – to prevent textile waste
Stream 2 – collaboration to prevent waste from multiple organisations in a specific supply chain, sector or region. 

Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) - $100K to $3m for industry-led research that will develop a product, service or process that will solve problems for industry and deliver real outcomes; benefit SMEs and include and training activities. Closes 16 November 2021. 

Small-Scale and Craft Program Stream Three - $25K to $100K for projects that create a unique visitor or ongoing tourism experiences linked to multiple small-scale and craft agribusinesses. Closes 19 November 2021. 

COVID-19 Tech Voucher program – part funding for tech-rich start-ups, scale-ups or SMEs to collaborate with Publicly Funded Research Organisations (PFROs) to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative R&D products and services. Closes 26 November 2021. 
Stream1 $30K to $50K for smaller R&D project (6 months) – max. grant is $25K
Stream 2 $50K to $100K for larger R&D projects (12 months) – max. grant is $50K

The Avant Foundation - $10K to $100K for research, education and leadership programs to improve quality, safety and professionalism in medicine.  Stream 1 EOI closes 30 January 2022. 

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) - $5K to $100K projects that will improve recreational fishing in Victoria.  Four categories Closes 28 February 2022.  

NSW R&D Fund - $250K to $1m for SMEs and scale-ups to stimulate the development and commercialisation of innovative products that benefit the people of NSW, with possible nationwide and global impacts.  

Commercialisation Fund - $100K to $1m for projects to bring industry and researchers together to commercialise new manufacturing products and processes within six manufacturing priorities: recycling and clean energy, medical products, food and beverage, resources technology and critical mineral process, defence and space.  Closes 30 June 2022. 

Food to Market Grant Program - Agriculture Victoria - $50K to $1m for projects to support jobs, deliver productivity improvements and capitalise on new opportunities across the agri-food supply chain.  Closes 30 June 2022. 

Regional Jobs Fund - support for projects which create employment across industry sectors where regional competitive advantage exists. Closes 30 June 2022 or until funds are expended. 

Lead Educate promote - to $100K for coordinated business groups, peak industry bodies or associations in SA to lead, educate, assist and promote sustainable business practices. Closes 30 June 2022 or until funds are expended.  

XPrize Musk Foundation - $100m for carbon removal. A four-year global competition for innovators and teams to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans, and sequester it durably and sustainably.  Closes 22 April 2025. 


Ongoing Grants

Aboriginal Business Development Program - $1K to $30K for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to start or grow their business

Accelerating Trade Grant Program - to $10K for Tasmanian-based businesses to support activities that will lead to new trade opportunities.  

Advanced Manufacturing Fund NT - $25K to $500K (or more based on scale and impact) -  must be matched by industry. Projects should include collaboration with a research partner and a minimum of one industry partner.

ARENA - funding for renewable energy projects to bridge the gap between bright ideas and commercialisation. 

Awesome Foundation - $1K grants every month to support awesome ideas.

Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) - support for early stage companies that are, or will be, developing and commercialising biomedical discoveries. 

Business Innovation Support Initiatives: Voucher Scheme - $25K voucher for NT businesses to conduct R&D on innovative products or services in science, engineering, technology and design. 

The Catalyst Fund - $2.5K to $15K for early-stage, innovative and unconventional ideas that address urgent challenges. 

Community Grants - for NFP organisations working for the relief of poverty, sickness, distress, the advancement of education and other purposes of benefit to the community. 

CSIRO – Kick-Start Vouchers for start-ups and SMEs. To $50K (matched funding) for various activities to be conducted by CSIRO e.g. product development, research, testing.   

Defence Global Competitive Grant - $24K to $240K for projects that build defence export capability. 

Defence Industry & Innovation Programs:
 • Defence Innovation Portal for ideas that comply with the priority innovation needs.
 • Next Generation Technologies Fund for R&D projects in future technologies.

English Foundation - $50K to $100K for social enterprise changemakers who are tackling pressing community issues and want to scale to be impact-investment ready. DGR or TCC status required. 

Entrepreneurs’ Programme - three streams.
 • Accelerating Commercialisation Grant - to $1 million for eligible projects.
 • Business management - to $20K for business capability improvements.
 • Innovation connections - to $50K for a business innovation project  

Export Market Development Grants 
Tier 1 Ready to export (first time exporters)
           2 years and max. $40K per fin. year
Tier 2: Exporting & Expanding
 3 years and maxi. $80K per fin. year
Tier 3: Exporting & Expanding & Strategic shifts
3 years and max. $150K per fin. year 

Games Release Fund - to $30K to support small Victorian games studios with business development, marketing etc.  

Global Innovation Fund - $50K to $15m for the development, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations that improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. 

Google Ad Grants for NFP with charity status - to US$10K per month in kind for google ads. 

Impact Investing Ready Growth Grant - to $100K for capacity building from mission-driven organisations.  

Impact Investing Ready Growth Grant – to $140K for capacity building from mission-driven organisations.  

The IMCRC (Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre) provides access to R&D expertise for manufacturing companies and matched funding to $3m per company for multi-year research undertaken by universities and/or CSIRO. 

Innovation Connections - assists businesses to understand their research needs, connect with the research sector and fund collaborative research projects.
 • Stage 1 - a Service Report that helps you understand your business’s research needs and opportunities
 • Stage 2 - grants from $30K to $50K to undertake a research project based on the report

Investment Fast Track Fund - to $500K for regional and rural products to become investment ready. 

Minimum Viability Product - NSW to $25K for NSW tech SMEs to create B2B solutions. 

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) - Up to 39 weeks income support, business training and mentoring for job seekers with new business ideas. 

Pearcey State Entrepreneur Awards – recognising innovative talent in the ICT profession. Awarded to an individual who has "taken a risk, made a difference and is an inspiration" within the ICT industry within each Australian State. 

Research Commercialisation and Start up Fund (SA) - Funding for SA-based companies to support collaboration between enterprises, researchers and universities to commercialise new products and services.

  •  Stream 1 - Strategic Research Initiatives ($50K to $2m
  •  Stream 2 - Startup & Early Stage Company Incentive ($20K to $1m)
  •  Stream 3 - Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystem Initiatives ($20K - $500K) 

Small Business Export Loan - $20K to $350K unsecured loans to help finance a single export contract when your bank is unable to help.  On-line application.

Sovereign Industry Capabilities Priority Grant (SICP) - $70K to $1.4m to help SMEs invest in projects that build capabilities aligned with Defence's stated Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities. 

The Enterprise Solution Centre - matched funding of $2.5K to $100K to help find commercialisation solutions for novel product, process or service. Must be a food, beverage or agribusiness producer, or a supplier to the agribusiness chain. 

Universal Charitable Fund (UCF) - $2K grants for NFPs with DGR status who are helping people in need in the community or overseas. 

Valuing Business Waste Grants SA – to $15K funding for projects that identify better ways to manage waste and transition to a circular economy.

Victorian Law Foundation Small Grants - $5K to improve the community’s understanding of the justice system, including Victorian Law Week events. 

Victorian Business Growth Fund - for businesses with long term growth and high job creation potential with an annual revenue of over $5m.  The investment will be equity or a debt stake. EOIs now open. 


18 November 2021
Australia China Innovation & technology Symposium
Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney

6 - 7 December 2021
Ethical Enterprise Conference: The Future is Now

9 - 12 December 2021
8th World Open Innovation Conference
Hosted at the High Tech Campus, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

22, 23, 24 March 2022
Small Business Week
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

23 - 24 March 2022
Fintech 21
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne


Griffith Hack builds, protects and grows your business through IP.

We cut through complexity. We are flexible in our approach. And we deliver impactful outcomes for our clients to support commercial sustainability and innovation.

Ideation is a multi-award winning product design consultancy with over 30 years’ experience in developing new products and ideas.

We provide a complete product development service from concept generation, 3D CAD & prototyping, through to production documentation and specification.

Chambers & Partners is a full-service chartered accounting practice.  We specialise in assisting small and medium-sized businesses to achieve their ambitions – providing them with the insightful, careful and expert business accounting services they need in order to succeed.

Start me up: Protect and profit from your new ideas - Free e-booklet

This free eBooklet from INNOVIC, Matrix Thinking and Griffith Hack includes:

  • How to find new business ideas and opportunities (even in a crisis)
  • Understanding intellectual property; the different types of IP, duration and disputes
  • Legal documents and how to use them
  • What to include in a pitch deck and business plan
  • How to profit from your ideas
  • Useful resources 

Download it here

INNOVIC’s Entrepreneurs’ Toolkit

a FREE downloadable resource.

The toolkit contains information on idea evaluation, funding options, business structures, key federal grants, protecting your digital ideas, growing your business, legal documents, disputes - and how to resolve them.

Plus useful resources, links, and tips from the contributors: AB Phillips, INNOVIC, IP Australia, Rankin & Co, Saving Point and the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.

Download here