Research Funding Available for SMEs to Commercialise Products and Services

ACS Foundation Acknowledged as an Eligible Research Organisation for the Enterprise Connect, Researchers in Business Program

The ACS Foundation (ACSF), whose charter is to encourage private and public sponsorship of ICT higher education and research initiatives, has today announced it has been

recognised as an Eligible Research Organisation under the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research’s Enterprise Connect, Researchers in Business program. The ACSF will be focussing on software development projects and research for small to medium ICT companies.

 When the Australian Government established Enterprise Connect, one of its directives was to look at ways of increasing the research opportunities within small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and of bridging the gap between researchers and industry for the commercialisation of new processes, products and services.
It also aimed to overcome some of the research funding hurdles for innovative SMEs across Australia. Enterprise Connect, through its Researchers in Business (RiB) program, offers up to $50,000 funding for SMEs to assist with the resource costs of research.
As an Eligible Research Organisation, the ACSF is accorded the same status as Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and Universities. The ACSF can now review and submit RiB applications for ICT companies, and facilitate the commercial arrangements between the enterprise and the researcher.
Enterprise Connect’s National Manager for Technology and Knowledge Connect, Evangelos Lambrinos, said in recognising ACSF as an Eligible Research Organisation: “The ACSF is able to tap into the deep talent pool of Australia’s Information and Communications Technologies industry and the ICT and science faculties of our universities. The Foundation is in an excellent position to match business projects to appropriate research organisations and individual researchers.”
John Ridge, Executive Director of the ACS Foundation, said: “Enterprise Connect is a true gem of a program. The Government should be congratulated for this vision to increase the research capacity of Australian business structures and culture.
“SMEs need to know this fantastic opportunity is sitting there waiting for their application. Interested ICT businesses, researchers and students can use the ACSF as a single point of access to this excellent initiative.”
About Enterprise Connect (

Enterprise Connect is an Australian Government initiative backed by industry that offers comprehensive advice and support to eligible Australian small and medium enterprises (to help them transform and reach their full potential. It is committed to accelerating the adoption of new ideas and technologies by stimulating the dissemination of expertise from research organisations to industry and from industry back to the research sector.
The program is targeting SMEs across manufacturing, resources technology, clean technology and defence sectors as well as the creative industries and those located in and/or servicing remote Australia. Eligible companies get access to comprehensive, independent business advice, tailored advisory services and a network of resources that draws together cutting edge technology, knowledge and business practices.
To be eligible, applicants must be proven, established businesses with turnovers in excess of $1 million.
Funding for up to 50 percent of salary costs, to a maximum of $50,000, is provided for the researcher to work on site within a business for each 2 to 12 month placement.

The EC research projects are seeing a new wave of Australian entrepreneurial success.
An Example of a Researchers in Business project

The ACS Foundation will be focussing on software development projects and research for ICT companies but an example of a RiB project from across the program includes:
Research conducted by the University of Melbourne for Artists Technologies, through RiB support, has seen the development of user-friendly statistical and visualisation software as specific decision support tools for surgeons.
About The ACS Foundation (

The ACS Foundation was established in August 2001 to encourage both private and public sponsorship of ICT higher education and research. By increasing funding opportunities for industry to contribute to education programs, the Foundation seeks to create a highly skilled workforce, able to effectively access research and industry-specific training. Since its establishment, the ACS Foundation has raised more than $30 million and awarded more than 3,000 scholarships.
The prime scholarship facilitator focused exclusively on the ICT industry, the ACS Foundation receives funding from ICT companies, industry associations, Government bodies, individuals and the ACS itself. An ATO-designated Deductible Gift Recipient, the ACS Foundation provides tax effective programs for industry and private donors.
Contact John Ridge on 0407 913 992 or email at

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