The first budget of the Rudd Government saw the Commercial Ready programme get nuked. Comments in the media were mixed – See The Age and the ABC.
This decision makes no sense. The Commercial Ready programme was extremely effective in taking early stage technology and commercialising it. The programme forced companies applying for the grants to provide like-for-like funding from the investment community (an important validation of a technologies commercial potential). It also forced companies to go through a rigorous application process which helped executives define and describe their target markets, how they would commercialise the technology and how they would go to market. An extremely valuable process.
All I can hope for is that the Government is in transition with their innovation review and is using this as an opportunity to rob Peter to pay Paul. If we dont see a new commercialisation grant programme (under a different name) rolled out after the innovation review is complete the government has just inflicted a mortal wound to many aspiring start-ups.
I’d like to thank all the AusIndustry staff who ran this programme so effectively around the country. All the staff I dealt with were highly competent, committed and fair with their feedback and reviews. It is truly a sad loss.