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Global Connections Fund (GCF) – Bridging Grants


This program targets early stage proof of concept and knowledge transfer, product and services development and market testing, innovation and commercialisation activities. It forms part of the Global Innovation Strategy under the Australian government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The program is designed to support international SME-Researcher partnerships grow beyond an initial level of engagement such as might be developed during a Priming Grant funded process, into a strong collaboration which leads to the translation of research knowledge and intellectual property into market ready products or services.

The priority areas that are the focus of this grant activity reflect the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre priorities and are consistent with nine Australian National Science and Research Priorities. These are:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Food and agribusiness
- Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
- Mining equipment, technology and services
- Oil, gas and energy resources

Funding between $25,000 and $50,000 is available, and requires 50% matching funds on a cash and/or in-kind basis of additional resources from the applicant partners. Grant applications for less than $25,000 will not be considered eligible.

The application process has two stages:
- Expression of interest (EOI): Opened 3 June and closed 17 June 2019, 5pm AEST.
- Full application (once EOI is approved): Closed 1 July 2019, 5pm AEST.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants must:
- Be an Australian researcher or an Australian-incorporated SME and have a proposal supporting an international SME-Researcher partnership.
- Be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident, and living in Australia at the time of submitting the grant application.
- Be incorporated as a Pty Ltd or Ltd entity.
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Be incorporated and registered for GST.
- Not be set up as a trust structure.
- Not be a sole trader.
- Not be engaged in any litigation, arbitration, administrative proceedings, investigations, of or before any court, tribunal, commission, arbitral body or other agency in any jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Australia (for enterprises based in Australia) or in the nominated priority economy

For the purpose of this program, Australian research applicants are defined as those employed by a tertiary education institution, publicly funded research organisation, not-for-profit research organisation, or cooperative research centre.

Only the following partnership collaborations are supported:
- Australian SMEs looking to partner with Researchers in a priority listed economy.
- Australian Researchers seeking to partner with International SMEs in a priority listed economy.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete eligibility requirements.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include:
- Product and service development activities (e.g. technical development, compliance testing, proof of concept, product testing, validation, laboratory verification and certification).
- Product or services design (e.g. design work, prototyping, innovation design, manufacturing establishment).
- Software development and beta testing for a specific application.
- Market testing and analysis, small run supply of prototypes for testing and evaluation.
- IP scanning: Freedom to operate searches and provisional patent applications (capped at $5,000).
- A limited travel component to enable specific project activities to occur (capped at $3,000).

Main Assessment Criteria

The main assessment criteria include:
- Project description
- Project activities and resources
- Impact of the work
- Benefits of the work to Australia

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of the assessment criteria.

  • Start-up
  • Research & Development
  • Marketing
  • Export
  • Business Support
Documentation Uploaded
Sample Eligibility Test Form 2019-04-16 Download
Guidelines 2019-04-16 Download
Budget Template 2019-04-16 Download
FAQs 2019-04-16 Download
Sample Application Form 2019-04-16 Download

Use these documents as a guide only - always get the latest direct from the Administrator

Status Pending
Opening Date 3 Jun 2019
Start By Date 3 Jun 2019
Closing Date 17 Jun 2019
Closing Information
This program is available annually. The next funding round is yet to be announced.

Funding Type Grant
Min.Funding $25,000
Max.Funding $50,000
Co-contribution Yes 1:1
Competitive Yes
Eligible Activities
Innovation and R&D
Who Can Apply?
Healthcare, Medical, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology
Food and Beverage
Energy and Renewables
Difficulty Rating
Tier Federal
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Program Administrator
Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)
General WebsiteVisit
Program Website Visit