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Global Connections Fund (GCF) – Priming Grants


This program aims to enable Australian researchers to engage with international small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and enable Australian SMEs to collaborate with international researchers. It forms part of the newly announced Global Innovation Strategy under the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). 

Grants of up to $7,000 are available.

The application process has two stages: 
- Expression of interest (EOI): Opened 5 February and closed 19 February 2018, 5pm AEDT. 
- Full application (for approved EOI): Closed 8 March 2018, 5pm AEDT.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident, living in Australia at the time of submitting the grant application If successful, Priming Grant applicants will need to provide proof of citizenship or permanent residency if requested, as a condition of receiving funds.

Australian SME applicants must:
- Meet the definition of an SME which is the term used to refer to microbusinesses, small businesses and medium sized firms. A small business has less than 20 employees, a medium business has between 20 and 199 employees and SMEs have less than 200 employees.
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Be incorporated and registered for GST.
- 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.

Australian research applicants must be affiliated with a tertiary education institution, public sector research agency, not-for-profit research organisation or Cooperative Research Centre in Australia.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete eligibility requirements.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include those that facilitate:
- Formalising the relationship (such as an initial face-to-face meeting between the partners).
- Project activities (e.g. establishing IP and other legal/partnership establishment costs).
- Preparation of applications for funding grants.
- Travel (air, surface, rail, bus, road).
- Accommodation.
- Other expenses associated with the meeting (meals and incidentals).

Main Assessment Criteria

The main assessment criteria include:
- The need for support, including the issue or opportunity to be addressed or problem to be solved and the partners selected.
- Potential market opportunity being addressed (be realistic) - size and opportunity, competitive landscape, uniqueness.
- Likelihood of the Priming Grant activity to result in an ongoing R&D collaboration project.
- Strategies for securing future funding.
- Potential impact of the Priming Grant activity on business productivity or competitiveness and benefits to Australia.


The following are ineligible for funding:
- Direct research costs.
- Routine replacement, purchase or upgrade of equipment.
- Activities that would be undertaken in the normal course of business, such as website development, or the purchase, development and/or integration of standard software for core purposes (e.g. accounting, financial management), business planning (except where this involves joint planning of activities for a new collaboration), sales and promotional activities.
- Retrospective activities (i.e. where expenditure is incurred prior to awarding of a Priming Grant).
- Anything else as determined by ATSE as not meeting the Priming Grant objectives.
- International candidates.

  • Start-up
  • Research & Development
  • Marketing
  • Export
  • Business Support
Documentation Uploaded
FAQs 2018-01-28 Download
Guidelines 2018-02-05 Download
FAQs 2018-02-05 Download
Sample Expression of Interest Form 2018-02-05 Download
Sample Application Form 2018-02-05 Download
Final Report Form 2018-02-05 Download

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

Add to
Status Pending
Opening Date 5 Feb 2018
Start By Date 5 Feb 2018
Closing Date 19 Feb 2018
Closing Information
This program is available annually. The next funding round is yet to be announced.

Funding Type Grant
Max.Funding $7,000
Co-contribution Yes
Competitive Yes
Eligible Activities
Innovation and R&D
CommunityServices : Other
Gender Any
Age Any
Who Can Apply?
General - Non-Industry Specific
Eligible Organisation Type(s)
Difficulty Rating
Tier Federal
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Program Administrator
Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)
General WebsiteVisit
Program Website Visit