Industry Partnership Opportunities

Research Strategy and Partnerships Office

The Commonwealth and NSW Governments support industry and university collaboration through a range of initiatives including the ARC Linkage Program, tax incentives and matched funding.

Contact Us for information or advice on any of these schemes below.

ARC Linkage Scheme

The ARC Linkage Program is a funding scheme that enables external partner organisations to undertake a collaborative research project with UNSW.

The Program works to benefit the broader Australian community by funding collaborative research projects with industry, government or community organisations who are looking to collaborate with UNSW researchers to answer questions or solve problems for their strategic benefit and/or competitive advantage. Grant funding is predominantly provided by the ARC, with partner organisations providing a mix of cash and in-kind support.

UNSW is consistently the national leader in securing ARC Linkage funding, demonstrating our long tradition and reputation for excellence and leadership in industry-relevant research and underlining our clear strength in engaging in real-world research and supporting innovative research partnerships. 

UNSW has wide ranging expertise and experience in working with its research partners, from the earliest stages of research through to commercialisation, on projects ranging from social policy studies, through hi-tech industrial investigations, to medicine. Our EasyAccessIP program increases the range of options available to partners for facilitating knowledge transfer with many technologies being licensed for free.

UNSW's diverse partner organisations span the private and public sectors and include: Surf Life Saving Australia Ltd, the National Heart Foundation of Australia, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Suntech Power Holdings, the Australian Human Rights Commission, BHP Billiton, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the University of California, San Diego – Visual Arts, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Beijing Origin Water Technology Company.

Almost all public, private, community, government and not-for-profit organisations are eligible as partner organisations, provided they are not primarily funded for research or research-related activities by government. 

NEW Continuous Linkage Projects Scheme

  • From July 1, 2016 the ARC is implementing a continuous Linkage Projects scheme whereby applications can be submitted at any time. However UNSW has implemented its own hard internal deadlines for submission of applications in 3 tranches per year.

The deadlines for the remainder of 2017 are listed below and the 2018 deadlines will be communicated later in the year. 

Round 1 2017

  • Request not to Assess to GMO: Monday 31 July 2017 

  • Submit application for GMO review: Monday 31 July 2017

  • Submit final application to GMO: Tuesday 15 August 2017

  • GMO submits application to ARC: Friday 18 August 2017

Round 2 2017

  • Request not to Assess to GMO: Monday 27 November 2017

  • Submit application for GMO review: Monday 27 November 2017

  • Submit final application to GMO: Tuesday 12 December 2017

  • GMO submits application to ARC: Friday 15 December 2017

Division of Research Development Funding Support to ARC Linkage Project applicants

  • A maximum of $5,000 will be made available by the Division to support ARC LP application development and submission for expenses such as writing, editing, budget preparation and/or travel to establish partnerships.

    NOTE that this funding is provided on the basis that a Linkage application is submitted to the ARC. Funding will be recovered if a submission does not proceed.

  • To secure funding please send details of your proposed expenditure to Debbie Docherty, Director, Grants Management Office at for formal approval and payment arrangements. 

Workshops: the RSPO will be holding range of workshops on the new continuous Linkage Scheme including: 

    • University-wide workshops 

    • Faculty and school-based workshops 

      • Email to request a workshop

Further information:


For advice on:

  • Suitability of projects for this scheme

  • How to maximize benefit

  • Enhancing application success

  • Partner Organisation contributions required (including in-kind)

James Walsh
Senior Strategic Development Manager (Industry), RSPO
T: +61 2 9385 7930 
M: 0412 364 592 

For advice on:

  • Alternatives to ARC Linkage Projects for industry engagement

  • Capacity at UNSW to engage in end-user research

Warwick Dawson
Director, RSPO
T: 61 2 9385 7929 
M: 0419 415 872 

Innovation Connections Grant

As part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda Entrepreneurs' Programme, the Innovation Connections scheme  is a facilitation service to encourage and assist small and medium businesses to access knowledge, engage with researchers and foster innovation.Following a facilitated service, your business may seek matched financial assistance in the form of an Innovation Connections Grant.

Up to $50,000 funding is available from the Commonwealth, to be matched by an eligible Australian company, for a project up to 12 months duration. Company eligibility is based on turnover/expenditure – between $1.5-100M. The company must operate in a defined sector: Advanced Manufacturing; Food and Agribusiness; Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; Oil, Gas and Energy; or Enabling technologies and services of the sectors listed above.

This scheme is ideal as a prelude to an ARC Linkage proposal, or for a component of a Linkage proposal that may not have been funded in the recent round, with a view to a future re-submission.

For more information contact:

Warwick Dawson, Director, RSPO

Ph: 9385 7929


Innovate NSW

The Innovate NSW initiative provides funding to businesses in NSW to develop innovative technological solutions to key challenges in their market sectors.  

The initiative include four elements:

These schemes have enabled businesses to successfully partner with UNSW to obtain funding. 


The NSW Government’s TechVouchers scheme aims to facilitate research collaborations between small-to-medium enterprises and research organisations like UNSW.  TechVouchers up to a value of $15,000 are available to companies interested in accessing research and development expertise to enhance or validate their products and services.  TechVouchers can be used to fund product or process design, technical assistance, product trials and collaborative research projects.

Details regarding eligibility and funding are available at the NSW Department of Trade and Investment website

For more information contact:

Paula Sissian-Turnbull, Research Partnerships Adviser, RSPO

Ph: 9385 1655


The R&D Tax Incentive

The University of New South Wales is a registered Research Service Provider. Companies interested in partnering with UNSW may be eligible for the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive.The Incentive provides generous support to business, particularly SMEs to conduct eligible research and development activities, through:

  • a 43.5% refundable tax offset for eligible companies with a turnover of less than $20 million p.a. (equivalent to a 150% tax deduction)

  • a 38.5% non-refundable tax offset (equivalent to 133% tax deduction) for all other eligible companies

Companies can claim a tax offset for the relevant parts of CRC contributions paid out of the entity’s own funds.  See Cooperative Research Centres Program below.

Partner Organisation contributions to a Linkage Project may be eligible for a R&D Tax incentive to the extent that the expenditure is incurred by an eligible company in respect of eligible R&D activities and provided that all other relevant requirements are met.  


SIEF STEM+ Business Funding - for Early Career Researcher-in-Residence Placements with SMEs

The SIEF STEM+ Business Fellowship program is a new scheme which provides funding support to enable Australian SMEs to undertake 2-3 year research projects with Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from Australian research organisations.

The program aims to:

  • build deeper connections and collaboration between researchers and SMEs

  • accelerate the adoption of new ideas and technology

  • help SMEs grow into larger and more profitable organisations

The CSIRO’s SME research facilitators work with businesses and research organisations to establish projects and facilitate financial assistance in the form of a SIEF STEM+ Business grant of up to $105,000 per annum to support projects involving:

  • the placement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics ECRs from Australian publicly-funded research organisations and Australian universities with SMEs 

  • development and implementation of new ideas with commercial potential.

Businesses are required to make a cash contribution that matches the value of the STEM+ Business grant.

Details regarding eligibility and funding are available on the CSIRO website.


The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community. It’s a proven model for linking researchers with industry to focus on research and development towards use and commercialisation.

It aims to:

  • improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially where Australia has a competitive strength and in line with government priorities
  • foster high quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations
  • encourage and facilitate small and medium enterprise (SME) participation in collaborative research

The Cooperative Research Centres Program offers support to industry, research and the community through two elements:

James Walsh
Senior Strategic Development Manager (Industry), RSO
T: +61 2 9385 7930 
M: 0412 364 592 


ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP)

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) offers a suite of funding schemes attractive to both university-based researchers and industries.

This dynamic Program will:

  • fund research hubs and research training centres;
  • support Higher Degree by Research students and postdoctoral researchers in gaining real-world practical skills and experience through placement in industry.

To achieve this, the Program will fund the following schemes:

James Walsh
Senior Strategic Development Manager (Industry), RSO
T: +61 2 9385 7930 
M: 0412 364 592