Government fund to help local manufacturers collaborate internationally

An Australian government fund is helping Australian manufacturers cooperation with international partners.

The federal government’s Global Connections Fund (GCF) helps local small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) link up with companies and researchers overseas.

The second round of the priming grants component opened last Friday. The fund offers A $7000 grants to boost international collaboration.

The GCF is comprised of two types of grants: priming grants and bridging grants. In 2016, the government awarded more than $1.1 million in grants under the two components. Under round one of the priming grants, 74 Australian SMEs and researchers received assistance to develop products and services for Australian and international markets. 

Bridging grants of up to $50,000 are designed as seed funding capital to enable viable projects to grow in scope and scale, and to test commercialisation and proof-of-concept activities. 

Minister for innovation, Arthur Sinodinos said that the grants will help create more industry-researcher collaboration.

Linking Australian SMEs with international researchers, and Australian researchers with international SMEs, allows greater international industry-researcher engagement, enabling access to world-class expertise, infrastructure and the global market,” Sinodinos said. 

There were 14 projects awarded in the first round of bridging grants. The second round opens later this year.