Australian Govt funds IT start-ups

Australian Govt funds IT start-ups

Summary: This week Australia's Federal Government announced it had allocated $3.6 million in funding to 57 local research projects so that they could be commercialised, with many of them being web or IT-related start-ups.


This week Australia's Federal Government announced it had allocated $3.6 million in funding to 57 local research projects so that they could be commercialised, with many of them being web or IT-related start-ups.

The Commercialising Emerging Technology (COMET) grants were doled out by Senator Kim Carr in his role as minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Each of the companies received $64,000 towards their efforts.

bootstrappr trawled through the list and pulled the most obviously web 2.0 or IT-related companies out; we've listed them here, although we haven't investigated their products or services.

Website-crawling and aggregation software integrated with search functionality
Faulkner Technologies:
Elastic-Apps, a web-based software as a service solution for development of business applications software
A sophisticated and user-centric web 2.0 service
The ScrollMiz software provides easy reading of text and viewing of images on mobile phones or portable pocket PCs
Software for management of the rehabilitation value chain
Database management technology covering nutritional ingredient and allergy information for supermarket products
Lucia Publishing Systems:
Print on demand software for publishing books
Everyday Hero:
Online fundraising management system for not-for-profit companies
Research it Online/The Sadkowsky Family Trust:
Open source software applications for medical research
Duxtel Internet Commander solution
Histology Online:
Image-intensive online course-ware for medical and health science disciplines
Escalated Advertising:
Visual media technology for advertising on escalator handrails
Creative Ad Technology:
Video ad-serving platform
Longreach Group:
Broadband wireless transmission system
E-learning software for student digital portfolios
Consumer product search engine based on economic utility optimisation
Depth Analysis:
Multi-view camera scanning system for reconstruction of 3D animation
Keep in Touch Australia:
Novel communication platform for aged care
G Learning:
Online interactive training and education system
Hardware for plastic optical fibre Ethernet-based data networking
Clear Falls:
Hardware/software coupling application for high computing performance, minimising power consumption
Know Ballyhoo:
System of algorithms to organise documents by relevance for any profession
Toast Technology:
Improved provisioning and subscription platform for SaaS delivery
Employment Agencysystem Intelligence:
Outsourced back-office system for small to medium enterprise employment agencies
Web-based solution for occupational health and safety, injury and claims management
Exit Info:
A web-based tool for conducting, analysing and managing employee interviews
QuestML XML-based mark-up language as a formal definition system for market research surveys

Do you work for one of these companies? Drop us a line with some more info about what you do and your website address, or post some comments below this article.

Topics: Government, CXO, Government AU, Start-Ups, Enterprise 2.0

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  • Is it just me??

    or do none of these actually involve research/development of NEW technologies.

    They are just ways to get funding for a commercial enterprise.

    Most of them seem to be very niche focussed.

    Not sure I want my tax doallrs there
  • Seems like nothing new...

    I agree 100% with the previous comment. Nothing seems new here - it is just a government hand-out to a commercial enterprise. I believe that if you can't raise/work for $64k without a government hand-out, you most probaby shouldn't be an entrepenuer.
  • Compex

    Could this be any more restrictive/complicated?!
  • Waste of time.

    64k does NOT commercialise a company. No wonder Austalia is being left behind. The process and time required to be accepted in the Comet grant scheme costs more than the 64k you receive. Most times you need a 3rd party company to process the application as well. I'm disgusted that we give so little to innovation in this country. And, as has been said, the companies which were accepted to the program are crappy anyway!!! Why is this? Because any decent company can see that it's a waste of time and usually go for VC or Angel funding. I'm surprised this one wasn't run through the Incubator program. That, of course, is where a senior organisation guides incubatees into becoming a business and take 91% of the fund for doing so. Australia is so far behind. I know this because I've been involved in both Comet and Incubators. Better to play roulette than rely on an upstart hand from our government.
  • A bit of balance.......

    I've just Googled Creative Ad Technologies - one of the recipients.
    They have a patent pending, which would suggest they DO have some chance of owning NEW technology in their field.
    I declare I'm also a COMET recipient (Tagmotion) from a previous round.
    And I also had a patent pending when I applied for my grant.

    In response to "Seems like nothing new":
    sure, the process takes up a bit of time.
    But $64K to a pre-revenue, bootstrapped business is worth the time and cost.
    (Or it was in my case, and no doubt to the other recipients who made the judgement to apply in the first place).
    And you still have to kick in $16K of your own.
    I've been able to create value in my business and engage advisors I would never have been able to engage without the grant.
    Sure, we should be doing more to back innovation in this country.
    But COMET's not a bad start.
  • Market Validation Program

    Also consider the Market Validation Program

    What is the Market Validation Program?
    The Market Validation Program is a pilot program that aims to promote innovation in business and government by supporting R&D for demonstration projects.Victorian public sector entities will identify needs requiring new technology solutions, and engage SMEs to explore the feasibility of technology solutions and conduct the R&D to proof-of-concept. The proposed 'solution' must be a new technology solution – for example, biotechnology, ICT, sensor, RFID, nanotechnology – to meet the specified requirements of the Victorian public sector entity.

    Who is eligible for the Market Validation Program?

    Eligible SMEs will:

    * Be a non tax-exempt company incorporated in Australia under the Corporations Act 2001
    * Have a combined turnover of less than $50m
    * Have fewer than 200 employees
    * Have access to any necessary IP
    * Be willing to undertake not less than 80% of the R&D work in Victoria
    * Have the Principal Investigator reside in Victoria for the duration of the project

    How will the Market Validation Program work for SMEs?

    The technical specifications developed by the public sector entities will be released to the SME market through a Call for Proposals. Proposals submitted by SMEs will then be assessed against the following criteria:

    * Significant new technology
    * Strategic
    * Achievable
    * Potential for commercialisation
    * Replicable
    * Well-led

    Successful SMEs will then undertake a Feasibility Study and report on the outcomes of the study. The Feasibility Study report will then be assessed to progress to the Proof of Concept stage.

    What benefits will the Market Validation Program deliver to SMEs?

    The Market Validation Program is designed to substantially boost the ability of SMEs to interact with customers in a demanding client setting, to commercially develop and prove their products and provide a sustainable commercial base from which to secure expansion capital, export revenue and future customers.

    Benefits to SMEs from the Market Validation Program will include:

    * Access to a grant (not a loan) over four years
    * Opportunity to develop innovative R&D capability
    * Improved understanding of what’s required in developing solutions that respond specifically to identified needs
    * Retention of IP
    * Recognition, verification and visibility in the marketplace
    * A leveraging tool to attract further investment capital or research funds
    * An export platform

    Call for Proposal

    Technical Requirement Specifications (TRS) will be released to the SME market on 2 March 2009 and proposals will close 24 April 2009.

    Feasibility Study

    A Feasibility Study will be undertaken by successful SMEs - $100,000 over three months.This will be a preliminary study to determine and document the project's viability. It will include a clear statement of how the response will meet the requirements detailed in the TRS as well as an explanation of the planned R&D process.The results of this study will be used to determine whether the project should proceed to funding for R&D to Proof of Concept.

    Proof of Concept

    SMEs submitting a successful Feasibility Study will be evaluated for funding to undertake the R&D to Proof of Concept.This stage will provide $1 to $1.5m funding over two years to develop the solution to a Proof of Concept stage.

    Peter Nolle