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Q&A with R&D Tax & Grant Strategy Consultant Matthew McLean


As Principal and Co-Founder of Brisbane-based Intellect Labs, Matthew McLean has worked with businesses across the medtech, biotech, food and beverage, recycling and manufacturing industries.

Read on to learn more about what Matt does for his clients and to find out the benefits of maximising innovation spend at pivotal points in the commercialisation process.

How long have you been consulting and how did you come to be in your current role at Intellect Labs? 

I’ve been working in R&D Tax, Grant and adjacent consulting areas for about 13 years. I started my career in the R&D tax division at BDO (mid-tier accounting firm) before spending 10 years in Griffith Hack’s consulting business, Glasshouse Advisory.

In 2020, I started Intellect Labs with my business partner, Shaun van Dijk, to support innovators of all shapes and sizes with R&D Tax, Grant Strategy, Collaboration Management projects.

What part of your role do you enjoy most?  

Because a lot of the funding programs that we work across apply to a wide range of industries, we get to work in a good breadth of technology fields. I love seeing the exciting work that is being done at the cutting edge of these industries.

The most rewarding thing is seeing a business able to extend its development runway or move closer to commercialisation because of the non-dilutive funding we’ve helped them access.

What resources would you recommend to someone looking to commercialise their product or invention? 

From our perspective its always about having a good understanding of what funding programs are out there for different phases of the innovation, commercialisation and growth cycles. You can get good information from Industry Growth Centres, Government websites and other databases, or form a relationship with a team like ours that can help you match opportunities to your project pipeline.

How significant has commercialisation funding been in terms of contributing to innovation in Queensland? 

We see programs like the R&D Tax Offset and competitive grants having an impact on businesses in Queensland every day. While it is never a good idea to rely purely on these sources of funding, they provide such a valuable tool to make your money go a bit further when in the early stages of a project or venture.

What is one mistake you have seen innovators make repeatedly during your career? 

As is the case with the patent process I think timing is everything. And good timing comes from good planning.

We encourage clients to think about four key components to a Grant Strategy. These are getting the business structure right from the get go, planning and preparing suites of documents that explain what you want to do, identifying collaborators in your ecosystem, and having a system in place for monitoring the grant landscape. All of this is work that can be done up front, and is particularly important for grant programs that usually have tight application windows and require a lot of work.

What advice would you give to an emerging business?

Have a good idea of where you are ultimately headed. This usually changes regularly in fast moving new businesses but having a north star really does help you make the right decisions. This is the case with grants and funding as much as any other area of business.


At MBIP, we specialise in intellectual property rights, but we always keep the bigger picture in mind. We understand that our clients often require expertise in various areas to navigate their commercialisation journey effectively. That’s why we connect our clients with trusted service providers who possess specialised knowledge in their respective fields.

For more insights relating to grant opportunities and strategies, visit Insights — Intellect Labs.