The Made in Queensland Round 6

India Australia RISE Accelerator

The Made in Queensland (MIQ) program, funded with $101.5 million by the Queensland Government, is dedicated to bolstering the international competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of small and medium-sized manufacturers while simultaneously cultivating high-skilled jobs for the future. MIQ empowers traditional manufacturers to embrace cutting-edge equipment, technologies, systems, and processes.

Since its initiation in 2017, MIQ has sponsored 136 advanced manufacturing projects throughout the state. It is anticipated to spawn and sustain more than 9,500 job opportunities within a five-year timeframe and stimulate over $190 million in private sector investments.

Out of the 136 projects that MIQ has supported, 42% are presently being executed in regional Queensland, ultimately yielding over 4,000 jobs over the course of five years.

The MIQ program forms an integral part of the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, designed to provide steadfast support to our manufacturing sector.

Opportunities for Queensland Manufacturers

Round 6 of the Made in Queensland initiative, featuring a budget of $20 million, is currently open for applications and will remain so until it closes at 9 a.m., AEST on December 11, 2023.

Queensland-based manufacturers who are keen on embracing cutting-edge equipment, technologies, systems, and processes that encompass aspects such as energy efficiency, exportation, reshoring, supply chain enhancements, sustainability, decarbonisation, and the pursuit of net-zero outcomes are strongly encouraged to seek matched funding grants ranging from $50,000 to $2.5 million.

Moreover, a portion of the available funding, up to $2.5 million, is designated for applications not involving equipment purchases and seeking less than $250,000 each in funding.

For a comprehensive understanding of the application process, including eligibility criteria and assessment guidelines, we urge prospective applicants to refer to the applicant guidelines and check out this funding agreement example.

Successful applicants under the Made in Queensland program will be obliged to formalise a funding agreement with the Queensland Government. An illustrative funding agreement is available for informational purposes. It’s important to note that as part of this agreement, the Queensland Government may establish security interests over some or all of the funded items. This may entail actions such as registering security on the Personal Property Securities Register or entering into a deed of priority with other project financiers. Before submitting an application, applicants should ensure that their financiers are amenable to these arrangements.

What the Made in Queensland Grant Provides

The MIQ program offers a dollar-for-dollar matching funding opportunity for projects aimed at helping manufacturers incorporate cutting-edge technologies to enhance productivity and foster growth.

Through non-repayable MIQ grants, eligible projects can secure coverage of up to 50% of their total project costs, ranging from $50,000 to $2.5 million. This funding can be utilised for:

  1. Integration of advanced robotics, automation equipment, sensors, digitisation, simulation, augmented reality, and other Industry 4.0/5.0 solutions.
  2. Implementation of enterprise resource planning, manufacturing execution systems, AI/data analytics, and other advanced software platforms.
  3. Utilisation of advanced materials, processes, and systems that confer a competitive advantage.
  4. Support for decarbonisation initiatives and the implementation of sustainable manufacturing solutions.
  5. Covering associated costs such as software, training, freight, and cybersecurity measures.

Who Qualifies?

To be eligible for MIQ funding, potential applicants are required to satisfy specific criteria, which encompass:

  1. Queensland-based Manufacturing SME: The applicant should be a small or medium-sized manufacturing enterprise located in Queensland, employing a workforce ranging from 5 to 200 employees, with the majority of these employees situated within Queensland.
  2. Registered ABN and Manufacturing Focus: The applicant must possess a registered Australian Business Number (ABN) and primarily engage in business activities related to manufacturing, as evidenced by the predominant source of their turnover.
  3. Independence and Governance: The applicant should operate as an independent entity, exercising control over decision-making processes and corporate governance.
  4. Financial Capacity: The ability to finance a minimum of 50% of the proposed project’s costs is crucial, and the applicant should not be insolvent.
  5. Equipment Ownership: The applicant should have ownership of the existing equipment used in their operations and should also assume ownership of any new equipment acquired through the grant.

Manufacturers who have previously received MIQ funding are eligible to reapply for new projects in Round 6, with the total combined funding limit per entity capped at $2.5 million.

Eligible Activities

Projects seeking MIQ funding must adhere to the program’s overarching goals of enhancing productivity, job growth, and bolstering international competitiveness.

Eligible projects should fall into one or both of the following categories:

Implementation of Advanced Robotics and/or Industry 4.0 and/or 5.0 Equipment: These projects should demonstrate their potential to differentiate the applicant’s products, processes, and market strategies from those of their Queensland manufacturing counterparts.

Integration of Sector-Relevant Technology, Systems, or Processes: This category encompasses projects such as:

  • Installing automated and robotic systems that seamlessly integrate with production processes.
  • Adopting augmented reality to provide digital work instructions and assist operators.
  • Utilising big data analytics and AI to extract valuable insights from operational data.
  • Incorporating smart sensors and internet-of-things connectivity throughout the facility.
  • Implementing tools for monitoring carbon emissions and energy usage.
  • Deploying advanced manufacturing software platforms like ERP and MES.
  • Developing new plans focused on decarbonization and energy efficiency.

It’s important to note that pure research activities are not eligible for funding; projects should primarily concentrate on integration with existing manufacturing operations.

Moreover, funded equipment should not duplicate existing items but should enhance overall capabilities. Project outcomes should be quantifiable, with metrics such as increased productivity, expanded exports, and job creation serving as key indicators.

Projects are anticipated to conclude within a 12-month timeframe from the execution of the funding agreement.

How the Application and Evaluation Process Operates

The MIQ grant application process follows a competitive two-stage approach:

Stage 1: This initial phase focuses on the assessment of eligibility and project particulars. Applicants are required to complete an online application form, which includes:

  • Providing company information and financial data.
  • Detailing project objectives, descriptions, cost breakdown, and the requested funding amount.
  • Articulating how the project will enhance productivity and competitiveness.
  • Presenting expected triple bottom line outcomes encompassing economic, employment, and sustainability factors.
  • Offering insights into project feasibility and risk management plans.

Applications submitted during Stage 1 are evaluated based on various criteria, including the project’s strategic significance, its impact on job creation, its potential to lead within the industry, and the broader benefits it offers.

The highest-ranked submissions from Stage 1 are then advanced to Stage 2.

Stage 2: In this phase, applicants are required to provide more comprehensive information related to business and project financials, delivery methodologies, and a justification for the value they bring to the program.

An assessment panel reviews the Stage 2 submissions, conducts due diligence, and recommends the top-rated projects for funding approval.

Applicants can expect to receive notification of the outcomes within 4-6 months from the commencement of the project. Successful applicants will then enter into a funding agreement before initiating their projects.

To discuss your eligibility and applicability for the Made In Queensland Grants – or other State and Federal Grant Programs, Fullstack can help. Book in a free consultation with our expert grant consultants to get started.

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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech & online companies.

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