Over the last 15 years or more AMTIL has been a partner with the Commonwealth Government on various initiatives, from skills improvement to export market access, business intelligence to technology and knowledge dissemination. Now we are about to close down one of the more successful national programme initiatives we have been involved with, and start a refreshed version this coming July. By Greg Chalker.

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme (EIP), developed from the Enterprise Connect initiative of the previous Government, is a flagship initiative focused on raising the competiveness and productivity of eligible companies at an individual level. The programme forms a part of the Australian Government’s Economic Action Strategy and will deploy more than 100 experienced Advisers and Facilitators, offering support to businesses through three elements:

  1. Business Management
    1. Business Evaluations – A business assessment resulting in a detailed report and recommendations for improvements.
    2. Supply Chain Facilitation – A practical approach to assist companies in interacting with, and supplying into, new and existing markets.
    3. Business Growth Services – Access for eligible businesses with high growth potential to specialist advisers, services and connections aimed at accelerating their growth.
    4. Business Growth Grants – Small, co-funded grants to engage external expertise to assist businesses with implementing improvements recommended under their Business Evaluation.
  2. Research Connections
    1. Identify critical and strategic research needs and opportunities.
    2. Support the business to connect with sources of expertise, technology and advice.
    3. Provide pathways to engage and collaborate with the research sector.
  3. Accelerating Commercialisation
    1. Provides expert guidance, connections and grants to accelerate the commercialisation of novel products, processes and services.

Up to this point in time, AMTIL has had six people engaged in these activities across Australia. Each has been very successfully engaging, advising and connecting companies in a diversity of industry sectors. In the last 12 months alone AMTIL’s Advisers and Facilitators have touched approximately 300 businesses. They have evaluated businesses and advised improvement strategies; they have assisted business owners and managers to engage service providers that can help them with improvement activities. They have conducted desktop research on behalf of companies into the most appropriate technologies that are needed for a particular process or product; and they have connected businesses with state and Commonwealth initiatives that can help support research and access opportunities for growth.

The dedication of our current Advisers and Facilitators has helped AMTIL as it has moved toward a longer-term goal. Now, after several months of tendering, AMTIL is proud to say we have been selected to move forward with the Commonwealth as an Industry Partner on the EIP, with a contract to provide nine Advisers and Facilitators across the country for the next three years. This is recognition of the importance of the industry we work hard to advocate. It is also a vote of confidence in AMTIL, which has gone from one adviser – restricted to Melbourne in 2010 – to nine Advisers and Facilitators located in three states and in some cases operating nationally.

The EIP is one of the few really good programmes making a real change for many of our members and community. I know this programme can make a difference in your business. I have seen it happen, and I have heard it straight from too many mouths of owners and managers to think otherwise. Call me and I am happy to talk to you about how the EIP could change your business.

Greg Chalker is AMTIL’s Corporate Services Manager. He contacted by calling 03 9800 3666 or emailing gchalker@amtil.com.au