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Investment to bring innovation to market

The Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) supports researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to accelerate their progress with funding from the South Australian Government.

Please note: the Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund (RCSF) is now named the Research and Innovation Fund (RIF). Programs operating under this Government of South Australia initiative have not changed.

Read the RIF funding principles

  • The project is focussed on at least one of the identified growth sectors. The project will enable at least one of the following:
    • Drive high paying and sustainable jobs;
    • Attract and retain young wealth creators;
    • Lead to the growth or creation of value-added products and service industries; or
    • Drive export industries’ productivity efficiency and capacity.
  • The investment would not otherwise occur without financial support from the State Government.
  • There should not be displacement of existing businesses as a result of the project proceeding.
  • The financial support is transitional, and the project is financially sustainable over time without the need for further State Government financial support.
  • The quantum of financial support provided is appropriate given the economic benefits that are delivered.
  • The financial support is conditional on the recipient meeting agreed milestones and outcomes.
  • The investment delivers on the innovation commitments within the State Government’s strategic plans and priorities.
  • The investment is supported by key stakeholders through provision of cash and/or in-kind resources.
  • The investment strengthens the State’s research and development capacity and capability.
  • The investment encourages greater business investment in research, development and innovation.
  • The investment supports the commercialisation of products and services with clear potential to benefit the State through the creation of high-value jobs, revenue and exports.
  • The investment contributes to the growth and development of the State’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem to enable organisations to grow and scale into global markets.
  • The investment enables early-stage businesses to grow and scale through improved access to finance, skills, technology and markets

The state government utilises the RIF to support initiatives to its strategic plans and priorities including the EXCITE and FIXE Strategies.

Current program and initiatives are listed below:

Seed-Start Program

  • Grant open - Expressions of Interest invited

The Seed-Start program equips innovative, early-stage South Australian startups with grant funding to support the commercialisation of an innovative product or service.

This product or service must be unique and demonstrate a sustainable competitive advantage in national and international markets.

Funding is available through a competitive grants program to high growth potential businesses, to assist with the costs of delivering a clearly defined project that will generate significant benefits such as revenue growth, export income, local employment or other social benefits to South Australia.

Seed-Start offers two funding options based on a business’s stage of development.

Level TypeSeed GrantsStart Grants
Grant funding:
Minimum grant: $50,000
Maximum grant: $100,000
Minimum grant: $100,001
Maximum grant: $500,000
Matched funding:
At least a 2:1 basis
($2 Government to $1 Applicant)
At least a 1:1 basis
($1 Government to $1 Applicant)
Funding period:
Up to 2 year maximum
Up to 3 years maximum

An applicant must commit the required matched funding as a cash contribution towards the costs of the proposed project.

To be eligible an applicant must:

  • be based in South Australia
  • be a company incorporated in Australia with an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be a non-tax-exempt business
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • have a combined annual turnover of less than $1 million for each of the three financial years prior to the lodgement of the application.

Read the Seed-Start Guidelines in full before proceeding with the application process.

Examples of projects previously funded under Seed & Start – RIF include:

  • Ping Services completing an optimised design of their wind turbines and embarking on field trials with customers
  • Teamgage expanding their local software platform, which aims to drive continuous improvement in organisational culture, into global markets.

Innovation Ecosystem

Supports programs, events and activities that have broad benefit to the startup community.

Grants of between $20,000 and $500,000 are available to fund eligible activity with a maximum project duration of three years. Matched funding requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Specific calls for proposals may be invited at any time by the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science to address specific priorities or seek comprehensive proposals that address a number of initiatives.

Funding may support activity that:

  • attracts high calibre experts to serve as entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • attracts accelerator/incubator support funding from the Commonwealth Government and/or the private sector
  • facilitates startup delegations to visit key investor or customer markets
  • raises awareness of startup investment amongst angel investment groups
  • strengthens entrepreneurship learning and development
  • allows South Australia to host nationally significant conferences that recognise and showcase the work of startups, entrepreneurs and future industries
    grows regional startup communities.

You are encouraged to contact a Business Development Office from the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science to discuss your proposal before commencing an application.

Examples of previously funded activity under Innovation Ecosystem – RIF include Australia’s premier startup conference SouthStart, and the FIXE Scholarship Program building capability in the state’s future business leaders.

Strategic Research Initiatives

Supports research initiatives that will create innovative solutions or translate research into industry or commercial outcomes that address economy-wide challenges for South Australia.

Funding will be awarded through calls for proposals to address specific initiatives. The details of timing, funding available and grant guidelines will be specified with each call.

Funding may support:

  • initiatives that leverage investment to build R&D capabilities in South Australia from Commonwealth Government programs such as (but not limited to) the Cooperative Research Centre program, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence program, Medical Research Future Fund Initiatives and Australian Renewable Energy Agency grants
  • initiatives that leverage investment into South Australia from national research organisations including (but not limited to): Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Defence Science and Technology Group and Rural Research and Development Corporations (for example, Grains Research and Development Corporation)
  • consortia to address research challenges of strategic importance and critical need for South Australia
  • research into the South Australian financial services sector (and encouraging interdisciplinary research), assisting the development of new financial services, technologies and products
  • novel research translation and commercialisation initiatives or platforms.

Get in touch

Contact us for further information about the RIF and follow Twitter for the latest announcements.