Highlights

  • $2b of new investment to support Victorian innovation from early stage to growth
  • $200m available per year for 10 years 
  • Investments targeting health and life sciences, agri-food, clean economies, advanced manufacturing and digital technologies
  • Four funding streams, investing $500,000 to $30m per project.

Australia has traditionally been good at research and bad at translation

— John Brumby, Chair, Breakthrough Victoria Fund

Are you struggling to commercialise your innovative ideas or inventions?

Decades of development often meets a brick wall in this country when it comes funding that leap to market. The brick wall is sturdily-built — combining our fear of market failure with our risk-averse culture — and often hamstrings commercialisation despite our researchers being amongst the best innovators in the world. That said, there is no doubt that early-stage investment is high-risk, with just 1% of innovations making it to market. So, how do you manage the risk to improve your chances of commercial success?

Breakthrough Victoria

The Victorian Government announced one solution in their 2020/21 budget — ‘Breakthrough Victoria’ (BV), an independent, government-owned company, investing in innovators, and focussed on delivery of economic benefits to the State and on positioning Victoria as a key player in Asia-Pacific and global markets.

“Victoria is home to some of the world’s leading accomplished scientists, researchers and innovators – we’re backing them and the incredible work they do to make our world better.”
— Premier Daniel Andrews

BV is open for business, with $2b to invest. $200m is available for investment per year for the next 10 years. The plan is to leverage that $200m into $500-$600m per annum, so the final spend could be $5b – $6b. Seriously big numbers. 

To be clear, though, this is not a traditional granting program.  Matched funding is expected, and direct BV investment could be via convertible grants, equity, commercial support, convertible loans or debts, or through institutional co-investors, depending on the project.

Successful projects will have well-developed collaborative partnerships between industries, deliver sector-wide or multi-sector benefits, and catalyse financial and non-financial co-contributions from industry, research institutes, the Commonwealth, and the philanthropic sector.

Five Sectors targeted

These sectors have been targeted for co-funding:

  1. Health and Life Sciences — supporting the next medical breakthrough
  2. Agri-food — new, sustainable, and affordable ways to feed the world
  3. Clean Economies — innovative approaches to the challenges of climate change and waste reduction
  4. Advanced Manufacturing — integration of the latest technologies into products and processes
  5. Digital Technologies — looking for cutting-edge digital solutions

Four Funding Streams

Which of these four funding streams you access will depend on your commercialisation stage. Note that stream choice is flexible — your initial choice can be changed once you engage with BV.

  1. Foundational Technology & Platform Projects (FTPP)
    The FTPP stream supports innovative solutions to pressing societal or economic challenges, with market needs identified by multiple stakeholders. So, this stream invests in start-ups, enabling technologies, research platforms and infrastructure. There must be industry-leadership and the potential to generate discoveries or translation activities capable of commercialisation. Expect BV to invest up to $25m.
  2. Creating the Pipeline (CTP)
    CTP is about supporting early-stage ideas for prototype development, proof-of-concept trials and minimum viable products. You will have novel and protected (or soon-to-be protected) IP with high commercial potential and have identified your target market or area of need. BV would typically invest $500,000 to $2m.
  3. Catalyst for Change (C4C)
    C4C investment supports higher risk, upstream investments to help companies meet market needs. You will have identified a major industry or societal problem that could be solved by your IP, demonstrated early market traction, and tested market need and alignment. You will also be aiming to expand operations, increase your market penetration or develop scale-able business models. Expect BV to invest up to $10m.
  4. Catalyst for Growth (C4G)
    C4G will make significant, long-term investments in established and well-performing companies to make sure they stay anchored in Victoria, generating significant jobs and economic benefits. You will have a product, be generating revenue, and looking to scale-up to meet regional or global demand. BV will invest up to $30m here.

Who can apply?

You will be in Victoria, or willing to relocate. BV is investing in research organisations, companies at pre-revenue or revenue stage, or some combination, including joint ventures and consortia.

Investment locations

Investment is focussed on Victoria’s key innovation and employment precincts, including Arden Macauley, Bundoora, Clayton, Fisherman’s Bend, Parkville and Waurn Ponds. The new biotech incubator at Parkville has been the first to benefit from BV’s investment.

Applications

How to apply, stream fact sheets and FAQs are available from Breakthrough Victoria

Contact gemaker Managing Director, Natalie Chapman, at enquiries@gemaker.com.au  for enquiries and application support