Intellectual property and the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

14.01.2020 IP Australia

Many Australian businesses are not aware that their intellectual property (IP) can be considered an export in foreign markets, and therefore be eligible for Australian Government financial assistance to help them grow an export-ready business.

There are several ways the Australian Government supports Australian businesses taking their IP overseas. Most notably is the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme. Administered by Austrade, the EMDG program provides financial assistance to individuals, partnerships, trusts and companies that qualify with a turnover of up to $50 million, and that undertook export promotion activities during the year for which they seek an export grant.

The EMDG scheme encourages small and medium-sized Australian businesses to develop export markets across a wide range of industry sectors and products, including the export of IP outside Australia. This could include intangible assets like patents, designs, trade marks, plant breeder’s rights, circuit layout rights, confidentiality/trade secrets, or copyright.

To be eligible, the business must have:

  • the income of not more than $50 million in the grant year
  • incurred at least $15,000 of eligible expenses under the scheme (first-time applicants can combine two years expenses)
  • principal status for the export business (some exceptions apply, such as non-profit export-focused industry bodies).
The business also must have promoted one of the following:

  • the export of goods or most services 
  • inbound tourism
  • the export of intellectual property and know-how
  • conferences and events held in Australia.


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