MRFF 2020 Early Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support Grant Opportunity

This grant provides organisations with funding to work in partnership with businesses to translate medical innovation and research into early stage commercialisation activities.
This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

$19.75 million for organisations to progress medical research and medical innovation projects through the early stages of development.

Who is this for?

Eligible organisations to work in partnership with Australian small to medium-sized enterprises to progress their medical research and medical innovation projects towards commercialisation.


The 2020 Early Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support Grant Opportunity was announced as part of the Medical Research Future Fund under the Medical Research Commercialisation Initiative. This initiative aims to support early-stage health and medical research and innovation in Australia through to proof-of-concept and beyond, providing opportunities for commercialisation.

The objective of this grant opportunity is to provide grants of financial assistance to support early stage Australian medical research and medical innovation projects in the following four streams:

  • Stream 1: preclinical medical research or medical innovation projects with commercial potential
  • Stream 2: early clinical development of novel drugs, or novel uses for existing drugs, with commercial potential
  • Stream 3: early clinical development of medical devices with commercial potential
  • Stream 4: early stage development of digital health technologies with commercial potential.

Each will be a separate funding stream. The top ranked project in each Stream will be funded.

Applications to this grant opportunity must propose research that addresses one of the four Streams of research. Applicants must specify the Stream to which they are applying in their application. An organisation can submit a maximum of one application per Stream, however can be awarded funding from a maximum of two Streams.

The grant opportunity will not fund organisations to progress their own early stage medical research and medical innovation projects.

The intended outcome of the research funded by this grant opportunity is to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians by increasing the number of innovations, novel drugs, novel uses for existing drugs, innovative medical devices and/or digital health technologies that have progressed through the early stages of research and development to the point where they are ‘de-risked’ and attractive to private investment for commercialisation (including from the Biomedical Translation Fund).


To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be incorporated in Australia

and in accordance with s24 of the MRFF Act 2015, be one of the following entities:

  • a medical research institute
  • a university
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • a corporation (including businesses and not for profits)

Joint applications are encouraged, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.

We can only accept applications where you can provide:

  • evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • letters of support from each project partner, where applicable.

All members of the project team must be listed on the application form as Project Managers (PMs). Applicants must nominate a Project Manager A (PMA) who will take the lead role in conducting the project and report on the outcomes of the project as specified in the grant agreement.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an individual
  • partnership
  • unincorporated association
  • any organisation not included in section 3.1 of the guidelines
  • trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity.


How do you apply?

The MRFF 2020 Early Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support Grant Opportunity is closed to applications.

We review your application against the eligibility criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the assessment stage. Eligible applications are then assessed against the assessment criteria by an independent committee of experts.

The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. You should define, quantify and provide evidence to support your answers. The sample application form displays character limits.

The program delegate will make the final decision taking into consideration the recommendations from the independent committee of experts.

We will assess your application based on the weighting given to each criteria.

  • Assessment criterion 1 Project impact (40% weighting)
  • Assessment criterion 2 Project methodology (30% weighting)
  • Assessment criterion 3 Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (30% weighting)
  • Assessment criterion 4 Overall Value and Risk of the Project (non-weighted)

Scoring information for all assessment criteria can be found at Appendix C and Appendix D of the grant opportunity guidelines.

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we’ll notify you in writing and give you the chance to discuss the outcome with us.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements, payment schedule and milestones necessary to receive payments.

We will make payments according to an agreed schedule set out in the grant agreement. Payments are subject to satisfactory progress on the project.

Payments will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.88 MB docx · 1.85 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.74 MB docx · 0.20 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.69 MB docx · 0.12 MB

Board or CEO letter template

pdf · 0.01 MB docx · 0.03 MB

Independent audit report template

pdf · 0.35 MB docx · 0.05 MB

MRFF grant management resources

Reporting templates are available from the MRFF grants management webpage. The page also provides other resources for MRFF grant administration, including current policies and relevant forms and templates.

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