Second Round of Department of Industry, Innovation and Science SME Export Hubs Initiative opens

27 August 2019

(Applications close – 19 September)

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is pleased to announce the second round of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs Initiative is now open for expressions of interest. Please spread the word amongst your networks and consider applying!

A media release from the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology is available here. Program information, including grants available, high level eligibility requirements, and where to go for more information and to apply, is below.

About the Initiative

The Initiative will help SMEs to access opportunities to co-operate and collaborate with businesses in their region, develop collective branding, leverage infrastructure, use existing knowledge to improve local export capacity, access global supply chains, encourage business growth and importantly, create local jobs. It complements existing initiatives, such as those delivered through Export Finance Australia, Austrade, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, and the Industry Growth Centres Initiative.

Grants between $150,000 and $1.5 million are available to help establish and/or operate export hubs in the six Growth Centre sectors: advanced manufacturing; cyber security; food and agribusiness; medical technology and pharmaceuticals; mining equipment technology and services; and oil, gas and energy. Grant funds must be matched with cash and projects must conclude by 30 June 2022.

The program will be delivered through a two-stage competitive selection process. Stage 1 expressions of interest (EOIs) are open now and will close at 5pm AEST Thursday 19 September 2019. Stage 2 applications are expected to open in mid-November 2019, with outcomes delivered in early 2020.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible an applicant must:

·        have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and

·        be one of the following entities:

an incorporated not-for-profit organisation such as:

–  an incorporated association

–  a company limited by guarantee

–  a non-distributing co-operative

–  an Indigenous not for profit corporation

–   a not-for-profit incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust

–   an Australian local government agency or body

–   an Australian state/territory government agency or body

–   a Regional Development Australia (RDA) committee.

Joint applications are acceptable, provided the lead applicant is eligible to apply.

Who is NOT eligible?

·        an incorporated for-profit organisation

·        an unincorporated association

·        an individual

·        a partnership

·        a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) including universities

·        a research organisation

·        a trust (however, a not for profit incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)

·        a Commonwealth government agency or body (including government business enterprises)

New and existing export hubs are eligible for funding, provided they align with the Growth Centre sectors. Successful and unsuccessful Round 1 applicants can reapply under Round 2. Successful Round 1 applicants must clearly demonstrate their application does not duplicate activities already funded.

Further Information:

Information about the program, including the grant opportunity guidelines and a link to the online application form is available at

A webinar will be held in late August to provide an overview of the Initiative and Growth Centre priorities. Keep your eye on the website for registration information, or email to register your interest.

If you have any further questions, please contact us via 13 28 46, web chat or email, available from



News & opinion

Member Directory