Intellectual Property and Commercialisation
Both intellectual property protection and commercialisation are expensive ventures.
For protection in the major jurisdictions, the cost of intellectual property protection may be in the many tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The cost of commercialisation is typically at least an order of magnitude more than the cost of intellectual property protection.
Patents and Confidentiality
Most sources of funding will not agree to signing confidentiality agreements. Even then, confidentiality agreements can be difficult to enforce.
For these reasons, you should generally have patent protection in place before disclosing your invention. Our section on patents contains some further information.
Where appropriate to the commercialisation of a venture, crowdfunding may be a good source of funding. Generally, crowdfunding will involve presales of your product where you will retain equity.
Some of the more well-known crowdfunding platforms include:
Government Grants and Initiatives
A number of Australian Government initiatives are available.
Which Grants Are Available
In order to find out about grants you should speak to a grant adviser. As an initial step you could search for grants online using Google and various search expressions such as:
Some Government Initiatives
At the time of writing this article the following government grants and initiatives were available.
CSIRO Kick Start is aimed at new Australian startups at the research phase of development.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme was formed with the vision of enabling expansion and productivity for globally competitive industries in line with the Government’s Commercialisation Agenda. The EMDG was formed as a complement to the R&D Tax Incentive, Industry Skills Fund, Industry Growth Funds and the Manufacturing Transition Fund.
Due to the competitive nature of the programme, preference is given to the application with an industry focus. As part of the Entrepreneurs programme advisers specialise in the following areas: (i) Advanced Manufacturing; (ii) Food and Agribusiness; (iii) ICT, Digital and Professional Services; (iv) Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; (v) Mining Equipment, Technology and Services / Oil, Gas and Energy Resources; and (vi) Tourism.
Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)
The EMDG provides Australian exporters with reimbursement for export costs. The scope of the grant extends to intellectual property-related costs, including national phase costs. Presently, up to $200,000 in costs are able to be reimbursed.
R&D Tax Incentive
The R&D Tax Incentive can be of assistance to established companies and some startups. You should speak to a grant adviser and tax accountant to determine whether this incentive is applicable.
Friends, Family and Angel Investment
Friends, family and angel investment provide other sources of funding. These sources of funding are often high risk for the reason that funding is sometimes provided without sufficient due diligence. In addition, relationships can be put at risk. Contractual arrangements, if any, can stifle development and further funding.
Venture Capital firms are generally looking for large-scale ventures that have the potential to be rapidly commercialised and bring about high returns. For this reason, it is generally advisable to approach venture capitalist firms only once a commercialisation strategy has been developed.
The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys provides some further information regarding commercialisation: https://ipta.org.au/community/find-help-commercialisation-invention/
*As with all information provided by this website, the content of this webpage is subject to our disclaimer. The material provided is not to be relied upon under any circumstances.