Industry Growth Program


The Industry Growth Program is a government initiative designed to empower innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their journey towards commercialisation and growth. Supported by the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF), the program offers advisory services and opportunities for matched grant funding to eligible projects.

Key features
  1. Advisory Service: SMEs in the program gain access to a dedicated Industry Growth Program Adviser providing tailored advice for their commercialisation and growth projects, including strategies, funding avenues, network building, and market testing.
  2. Grant Funding: Eligible businesses can apply for grants in two categories:
    • Early-stage commercialisation projects: $50,000 to $250,000
    • Commercialisation and growth projects: $100,000 to $5 million
How to apply

Applications for the Advisory Service and Grant Funding can be submitted at any time through the online portal. You can only apply for a grant opportunity if you have received an Advisory Service report.

Target Audience

The program is aimed at innovative SMEs engaged in commercialisation and growth projects within NRF priority areas.

NRF Priority Areas
  • Value-add in resources
  • Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
  • Transport
  • Medical science
  • Renewables and low emissions technologies
  • Defence capability
  • Enabling capabilities
Eligibility Criteria

Businesses must meet specific criteria, including being an eligible entity with an innovative product, process, or service in NRF priority areas. Detailed rules are available in the program information guide.

Definition of Innovation

Innovation involves creating a new, unique, or significantly different product, process, or service with the potential for business scalability and transformation.

Project Stages

To qualify for commercialisation funding through the Industry Growth Program, your project must reach a specific stage of development, assessed using Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). Projects should be at a minimum of TRL3 or beyond, indicating that the technology has been validated in a lab and is progressing towards real-world application.

  • Early-stage commercialisation projects: TRLs 3 to 6, from feasibility studies to testing early prototypes in simulated environments.
  • Commercialisation and growth projects: TRLs 4 to 9, encompassing the full spectrum of development from early prototyping to the final application.

Exclusions:  Routine business growth is not covered by the program.

What are the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)?

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a scale used to assess the maturity of a particular technology.

  • TRL 1 – Basic principles observed: This stage involves the discovery of new concepts or scientific principles, typically through basic research.
  • TRL 2 – Technology concept formulated: The application of a new concept or idea is initiated, and the feasibility of the technology is explored.
  • TRL 3 – Experimental proof of concept: The concept’s feasibility is tested through experiments or analytical studies. This stage often involves laboratory-scale validation.
  • TRL 4 – Technology validated in a lab: The technology is tested and validated in a laboratory environment to demonstrate its functionality and basic performance.
  • TRL 5 – Technology validated in a relevant environment: The technology is tested in a relevant environment, simulating conditions closer to real-world applications.
  • TRL 6 – Technology demonstrated in a relevant environment: The technology is demonstrated in a relevant environment, showcasing its performance and potential.
  • TRL 7 – System prototype demonstration in an operational environment: A prototype of the system or technology is demonstrated in an operational environment, providing a more realistic assessment of its capabilities.
  • TRL 8 – Actual system completed and qualified: The technology is complete and qualified for its intended use. This stage often involves final testing and refinements.
  • TRL 9 – Actual system proven through successful mission operations: The technology has been successfully deployed and proven in real-world mission operations. It is considered mature and ready for widespread use.

Understanding and aligning with these TRLs is crucial for businesses seeking funding through the Industry Growth Program, as it signifies the progress and readiness of their innovative projects.

How we can help

We’ve helped our clients secure over $250M in grants and funding in a wide range of industries from deep tech to renewables. Our grant-writing experts at gemaker can help you put together a competitive application.

We offer three levels of support, tailored to suit your specific needs:

Level 1: guidance

Meet via video conference or telephone with one of our specialists to discuss your specific questions and concerns.

Level 2: review your application

One of our specialists will review your application draft and provide specific advice on improvements.

Level 3: Write your application

Our team will write your grant application based on information provided by you. For major grant rounds, our services are in demand, so get in early.

See who we've helped

What our clients say