Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA)

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The Australian Government recognises the important role our universities undertake in Australia’s research and development (R&D) ecosystem and supporting the skills needs of our future workforce.

The AEA will accelerate reform in the higher education sector for translation and commercialisation research capacity by establishing a new funding program to invest in priority-driven objectives aligned with the National Reconstruction Fund.

The AEA will initially run over ten years from 2023 to 2032, supported with funding from the $1.6b investment by the Australian Government in the research commercialisation ecosystem. The program is part of the Australian Government’s University Research Commercialisation Action Plan, and forms part of its efforts to supercharge commercialisation of Australia’s world leading research in the university sector.

The AEA consists of AEA Seed, which will act as a pilot, and two further stages AEA Ignite and AEA Innovate to open later in 2023 (subject to passage of amendments to the Higher Education Support Act 2003), successful projects will also be able to apply for further funding through the CSIRO Innovation Fund Main Sequence Ventures, or other investment vehicles. The AEA is designed to build a research commercialisation ecosystem from discovery research through to commercialisation, ensuring Australia reaps the benefits of investment in research within the university sector.

Under the AEA, projects can exit after completing an AEA Seed project, with no obligation to proceed through the other stages. Additionally, projects can apply for AEA Innovate grants, without obligation to participate in either AEA Seed or AEA Ignite.

The pilot-scale AEA Seed Grants, of up to $500,000 per grant for up to 12 months, will be open over five months in the first half of 2023, supported by a $10m investment by the Australian Government. There will be two tranches of the AEA Seed focusing on four priority sectors.

The objectives of the AEA Seed are to:

  • Support higher education providers bridge the divide between basic research activities and commercialisation outcomes, through closer engagement with industry partners
  • support research activities aligned to national priority areas, undertaken by higher education providers
  • boost the research capability of higher education providers to conduct research with high commercialisation potential
  • foster a culture of collaboration between universities and industry; and
  • encourage industry engagement with university research, boosting research capability in areas with the greatest potential for economic impact.

More information about AEA Seed can be found on the Department of Education website.

If you have any questions, please email the Department at

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