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December 2021

Hi Innovator,

Welcome to INNOVIC’s December 2021 i-Newsletter.

This festive month we have information on intellectual property and licensing, Christmas gifts that do good, tips for start-ups, how to do a patent search and details of events, programs, resources and more. We hope you enjoy it. 

Please note INNOVIC will be closed over the Christmas holidays from 20 December to 10 January 2022.  

We wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas.



Tel: 03 8060 3504
Mob: 0402 305 118



Can you license or sell your product if you DON’T have a patent?

To successfully license or sell your invention to a third party, you generally need to have the exclusive right to it.  Typically you gain this right through registration of your intellectual property with the relevant IP authority. 

If you don’t “own” any intellectual property (IP) you don’t really have anything to sell, and hence a third party is unlikely to pay you for the right to manufacture and sell it.  

However, not all products meet the necessary new, useful and inventive criteria to be patentable.  There are many successful products on the market today that rely on other forms of intellectual property protection such as design registration, copyright, trademarks or even first to market advantage.  Think Coca Cola, eBay and Airbnb.

Need help with licensing or other commercialisation strategies? 
Call INNOVIC on (03) 8060 3504. www.innovic.com.au


Want to know what’s happening in the Social Venture Ecosystem? 

M&S rental: the trend is growing

The famous UK brand, Marks & Spencer, is now offering a rental service for some of its signature clothing lines. 

Christmas gifts that do good

Online shopping this Christmas?
How to keep yourself and your customers secure.

Are you hiring staff over the Christmas period?
Everything you need to know.

Best Australian Poltical Cartoons 2021 

The year in politics as observed by Australia’s funniest and most perceptive political cartoonists.

Guaranteed 87% more substance than a Morrison announceable.

Available from all good bookstores.

Is it all over for co-working spaces?

COVID has undoubtedly changed the way we work and co-working spaces have been seriously impacted by the lock-downs.  Some local co-working places have closed, e.g. York Butter Factory and Depo8, and others around the world have faced financial losses. 

But don’t write them off just yet.  Although the predicted global high growth trajectory for co-working has slowed, research suggests there will be 5 million co-workers by 2024.  This is likely to be driven by corporate coworking as they seek to introduce a hybrid work model to retain and attract new employees.

Technologies to help people with disabilities

New ID requirement for directors

All Australian company directors now need to verify their identity by applying for a director identification number.

  • Existing directors have until 30 November 2022 to apply
  • Directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of appointment
  • From 5 April 2022 intending directors must apply prior to appointment


How to succeed as a start up

To run a successful start-up requires time, money, skills and commitment.  Here are 8 useful tips from INNOVIC’s Commercialisation Director, Richard Milne:

  1. Research your new idea to see if already exists
  2. Develop your idea to early concept stage to ascertain its viability
  3. Don’t file for IP protection until you have proof of concept
  4. Be prepared to prototype more than once to get it right
  5. Don’t scrimp on brand development
  6. Surround yourself with appropriate experts and listen to them
  7. Ensure your budget includes marketing expenses
  8. Most start-ups go over budget and exceed their time lines – so plan accordingly.

Need more in-depth information?  

Listen to Start ups: How to succeed - a comprehensive interview with Richard Milne.

Pitch decks mistakes

Are you an event organiser?  Finding it hard to get insurance?

The Victorian Government has just announced an event insurance product that will provide up to $230m in cover for events that are cancelled or changed because of COVID restrictions.  It will be available from December 2021. 


Need a free Confidentiality Agreement/Non Disclosure Agreement?  

Why do a patent search?

Doing a patent search is a useful way to check the potential protectability of your product before you go to the expense of developing it.  Even if your proposed product is not currently on the market, something very similar could still have been patented by another party and could result in infringement. 

So what data bases should you check?  Here are some suggestions. 

If you have no experience in IP searching it is advisable is to get a patent attorney to search and file the patent for you. 

Need help?  Contact INNOVIC on (03) 8060 3504 or www.innovic.com.au

How to work with colleagues you don’t like 

ICL Challenge:

Do you have a sustainable and economical peat replacement for horticulture? 
Check out the other challenges.

Looking for a low cost way to test and sell your products?

Casual market stalls and pop-up shops can provide a low cost way to promote, test and sell your products.  


Pop up Shops

Trying to get a new business idea off the ground?

Talk to the commercialisation experts.  INNOVIC has been helping innovators for over 30 years.  We don’t pull punches.  We tell you everything you need to know and help you to do it. 

Contact INNOVIC on (03) 8060 3504 or www.innovic.com.au

How to choose a product name 

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


CUREator, is a new biotech incubator.  EOIs are now open for eligible SMEs or life science researchers to apply for funding for 2022.  Closes 6 December 2021.

Remarkable is a 16 week accelerator program for early-stage start-ups creating technology to positively impact life for people with a disability.  It also provides $75K in seed funding (for 5%equity).  Closes 10 January 2022. 

Start North Pre-accelerator program - online lessons, resources, mentoring and more.  Closes 31 January 2022. 

The Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC) will receive an additional $500m from the Federal Government to invest in early-stage and growth businesses which are commercialising technologies that have the potential to accelerate Australia’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050.   



Creative Activation Fund - $40K to $300K for the development and delivery of high-impact creative projects that have potential to become drawcard tourist attractions. Closes 2 December 2021. 

Northern Australia Development Program - two streams for eligible businesses. Current round closes 10 December 2021 but grants are open all year round.

  • Business Development Grant - $50K to $2m for SMEs to grow their business through new activities. 
  • Industry Development Grants - $3m to $10m for larger businesses to establish a new industry or significantly grow the value of an existing industry. 

The Regional Tourism Investment Fund - $150K to $10m for new arts or cultural tourism infrastructure projects. Closes 7 January 2022. 

Social Enterprise City Impact Grants - $10K funding plus support for start-ups and existing enterprises that are expanding or developing new products or services in the City of Melbourne area.  Closes 14 January 2022. 

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. 

Crime Prevention Innovation Fund - $25K to $300K for councils, NFPs and other organisations for partnership projects that deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives. Closes 11 February 2022. 

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

Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant - to $140K for capacity building grants for mission-driven for-profit and NFP organisations to enable them to secure investment capital to scale their social impact. Closes 15 March 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. 

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.  

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 exhausted. 

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. 

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. 


6 - 7 December 2021  $80 to $546
Ethical Enterprise Conference 2021: The future is now
Melbourne & RMIT Universities

6 - 10 December 2021 
West Tech Festival - Celebrating innovation, investment and entrepreneurship
Various venues, Perth, WA

9 December 2021  4.00pm - 7:00pm  Free
Clean Tech Networking Event
The Oxford Scholar, 427 Swanston Street, Melbourne

10 - 11 December 2021
Fair@Square Ethical Lifestyle Festival
Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC

10 - 19 January 2022  (virtual)
Biotech Showcase™ - Biotech Showcase: The investor conference for innovators

2 February 2022  8:00am - 8:50am Free  (Virtual)
19th Annual Legal Laneway breakfast

21 - 22 February 2022  (virtual and in person)
The National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition (NCTCE)
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Qld


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