1. About the scheme

1.1 Description

The Development Grants scheme provides financial support to individual researchers and/or research teams to undertake health and medical research within Australia at the proof-of-concept stage that specifically drives towards a commercial outcome within a foreseeable timeframe1.

Early stage research or knowledge creation research will not be funded through the Development Grants scheme. Applicants are advised to consider directing such research proposals to the Project Grants scheme.

Research that aims to improve the health and health care outcomes which targets an unmet or poorly met healthcare need for Australians is highly valued. Partnerships with industry/commercial partner/s for the proposed research are not essential at the application stage. However, applicants must provide comprehensive evidence of their strategies to commercialise their product and bring it to market.

1.2 Objectives

The specific objectives of the scheme are to:

  • Increase, facilitate and expedite the translation of health and medical research outcomes through to commercialisation, within a foreseeable timeframe.
  • Support proof-of-concept research with a feasible commercialisation pathway and a high likelihood of resulting in protected Intellectual Property (IP).
  • Provide a potential mechanism through which research outcomes can be progressed to a stage that makes them competitive to receive industry investment through other government schemes or from the private sector.
  • Encourage collaboration between health research, the private sector and industry (domestic and international).

1.3 Who should apply?

Proof-of-concept research supported by this scheme should be underpinned by fundamental research and experimental data. The application must be supported by a detailed and feasible commercialisation business case that takes into account the regulatory pathway, protectable IP, commercial barriers and potential pathways to market.

Development Grants are distinct from Project Grants and other NHMRC schemes. Whereas a Project Grant and other NHMRC schemes, including those focused on research translation, may ultimately generate new knowledge that results in protectable IP with the potential to be commercialised at a future point in time, a Development Grant specifically drives towards a commercial outcome within a foreseeable timeframe.

1 In accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 (NHMRC Act) the purpose of the Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA) is to provide assistance to Federal and State Government Departments, institutions, universities and/or persons engaged in medical research.