Industry Growth Program

Supporting innovative small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups to commercialise their ideas and grow their businesses.

Innovative SMEs and startups play a crucial role in the economy but many have difficulty bringing their ideas to market. The Industry Growth Program supports early-stage businesses in their most challenging development phase.

About the program

The program supports innovative SMEs undertaking commercialisation or growth projects that will build Australian capabilities in priority areas for the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF):

  • renewables and low emissions technologies
  • medical science
  • transport
  • value-add in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors
  • value-add in resources
  • defence capability
  • enabling capabilities.

It aims to help businesses: 

  • commercialise their ideas into new products, processes and services, and grow their operations
  • improve their ability to engage in national and international markets 
  • better position themselves to seek future investment and scaling opportunities, including through the NRF.

It complements the NRF’s mission to drive investment in projects that develop Australia’s industry and manufacturing capability. This will help to transform Australia’s economy.

How the program works

The program has 3 core elements:

  • Industry Growth Program Advisers around Australia provide tailored advice to support commercialisation and growth projects.
  • Businesses who receive this advice may be able to apply for matched grant funding opportunities.
  • Industry Partner Organisations provide specialist sectorial expertise, advice and services to participating businesses.

Read how we consulted with industry and the public on the program design.

How we administer the program

Our department administers the advisory services and grant opportunities. An Executive Director oversees the program and supports the national network of Industry Growth Program Advisers.

The Industry Growth Program’s Independent Assessment Committee has a strategic advice and investment role. It will recommend grant funding for businesses that meet eligibility and merit-based criteria.

We will evaluate the program to measure how well it meets objectives and intended outcomes. Participating businesses will need to report on their progress and outcomes they’ve achieved through the program.

Meet the Executive Director

Executive Director, Industry Growth Program
David Chuter is the Executive Director of the Industry Growth Program. David brings more than 30 years of global design, engineering and manufacturing experience from an extensive career built in the global automotive industry.

Meet the advisers

Industry Growth Program Adviser | Victoria and Tasmania
Adam Clarke is a strategic advisory consultant with over 20 years of experience in senior roles in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | Queensland
Chris Burnett is a CEO, board member and corporate adviser. After starting in the defence industry, he gained extensive experience as an entrepreneur, founding 5 companies and being CEO or chairman of over a dozen others.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales
Cinnamon Pollard has over 20 years’ experience helping companies create solutions across corporate, government, non-profit, small business and startup. She is also a founder of her own startup adviser service.
Job title: Industry Growth Program Adviser | Queensland
Clare Treston has expertise in strategic planning, entrepreneurship, marketing, design thinking and brand management. She has supported hundreds of SMEs on their strategic growth journeys, across a broad range of sectors.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales
Daniel Gronowski has spent the last 20 years working in strategy consulting, early-stage ventures, university commercialisation and venture capital.
Job title: Industry Growth Program Adviser | Queensland
Donna Patane is a specialist IP and business adviser. She has a decade of experience guiding business owners to use their IP and commercialise their ideas, focusing on the agriculture and enabling capabilities sectors.
Job title: Industry Growth Program Adviser | South Australia and Northern Territory
Grant Steinberg has 3 decades of experience in founding, leading and mentoring business, with a focus on commercialisation of innovative technologies.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | Western Australia
James Reeves brings over 25 years of consulting experience, having worked on transformation projects and given strategic advice to companies around the world. His expertise includes strategic direction, problem-solving and driving efficiency.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales
John Keegan is a management consultant with successful start-up experience. He has a background in corporate strategy and line management roles in operations, sales and marketing.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | South Australia and Northern Territory
Josh Garratt is the 2023 Angel Investor of the Year recipient. He has spent 12 years with fund manager Cromwell Property Group and has experience in the Australian investment and commercialisation sector.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | Queensland
Juli Forrest has a background in strategic leadership focusing on governance, risk, compliance and commercialisation. She has expertise in engineering, resources, and infrastructure.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales
Liz Keane is an adviser with a focus on business, strategy and marketing. She excels at finding solutions tailored for clients across multiple industries.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | Victoria and Tasmania
Paul Mason supports Australian SMEs to design, make, and sell creative products and solutions. His expertise includes product design and development, advanced manufacturing, Industry 4.0, intelligent automation and fostering SME partnership.
Job title: Industry Growth Program Adviser | Victoria and Tasmania
Peter Batchelor is experienced in gauging new technologies and fostering growth for startups and existing companies. He has expertise in consulting, board roles for technology startups, government, higher learning and corporations in Australia and abroad.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | Western Australia
Rachel Falzon is an executive consultant with a focus on strategic planning and business operations. Her background spans over 15 years across defence, rail and the production sectors.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory
Robin Fieldhouse has close to 3 decades of experience across a range of physical and life sciences. A startup founder, he has knowledge about commercialising university-derived teams, infrastructure and IP.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | South Australia
Stephen Schmid is a consultant and leader in the science and technology field. He has worked with over 100 small businesses in the last 8 years, giving tailored advice and mentoring support through Australian Government grant programs.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | Queensland
Tony Aitchison's background spans many industries, from quantum to large-scale manufacturing. He has worked in sectors like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, medical, renewable energy, medtech software and more.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory
Tony Shannon is a former business executive with over 20 years of experience in the role. He has built companies in the digital and information sectors before moving to consulting, where he has advised SMEs for more than a decade.
Industry Growth Program Adviser | New South Wales
Tony Sinclair has an 18-year career as founder and director of 3 companies and has raised $9 million in investment. He has direct experience in venture capital and grants, market entry for regulated products in Australia, overseas business models and investment due diligence.

Latest news

Image shows a woman in a factory. She is standing next to the control panel for a machine tool, smiling and looking towards the camera.

Helping small businesses through new Industry Growth Program grant opportunities

Industry Growth Program grant opportunities are now open for innovative startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
A group 4 people in an office looking at a computer screen, smiling.

Industry Partner Organisations to receive $10.8 million in grant funding

We’re seeking not-for-profit industry organisations to receive IPO grants between $500,000 to $2 million as part of the Industry Growth Program. Applications close on 16 February.
A woman in a small warehouse leans against some equipment. A man behind her lifts a tray of plants off a shelf.

Industry Growth Program launches advisory service

The Industry Growth Program is officially open for business. Start-ups and innovative small-to-medium businesses can now apply for expert advice on getting their ideas to market.
Two businesswomen have a conversation at a table with their laptops and coffee.

Industry Growth Program: request for tender

We’re seeking contractors to provide advisory services for the Industry Growth Program. Submissions close on 16 August.
A diverse group of businesspeople look at some business growth projections while sitting around a table with their laptops.

Industry Growth Program: have your say

We want to hear your views on how the Australian Government can design the new Industry Growth Program. Submissions close on 30 July 2023.

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