The Made in Victoria – Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund is currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for its $15 million fund aimed at providing matched grant funding to eligible businesses in Victoria.
The Made in Victoria – Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund is currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI). The fund, amounting to $15 million, aims to provide matched grant funding ranging from $250,000 to $2 million to eligible businesses in Victoria. The primary goal of these grants is to foster the development of Victoria’s research and development (R&D) capabilities across various key industry sectors by investing in new or improved R&D infrastructure.
The fund seeks to expedite projects in sectors like new energy, health technology, food manufacturing, defence and aerospace, and advanced technology, which are highlighted in the Government’s Made in Victoria: 2030 Manufacturing Statement.
To encourage R&D investment, the fund will complement existing initiatives like the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive. This will enhance innovation capabilities and generate broader benefits for Victoria’s advanced manufacturing sector.
The program aims to foster collaboration and valued research between industry, universities, research providers, and supply chains by supporting R&D infrastructure.
Applicants must clearly demonstrate how the funding will facilitate additional business expenditure on R&D. Funded projects should align with the program objectives and deliver positive outcomes.
EOIs can be submitted from Thursday, 6 July 2023 and must be received by 5 pm on Friday 18 August 2023.
The Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund aims to encourage Victorian companies to invest in new or improved R&D infrastructure, promoting the growth of Victoria’s R&D capabilities in key industry sectors and fostering increased business expenditure on R&D.
The fund aims to generate benefits for individual businesses, industries, and the state of Victoria as a whole. Applicants must demonstrate how their project will contribute to long-term growth in Victoria’s business expenditure on R&D.
The program encourages projects in various industry sectors, including:
- New energy technologies, such as wind, hydrogen, solar, and batteries.
- Health technologies, encompassing medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and consumer healthcare.
- Food manufacturing and agriculture.
- Defence, aerospace, and space industries.
- Digital and advanced technologies, including advanced materials, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and quantum technologies.
Additionally, projects aligned with other industry sectors are also eligible to apply for funding under this program.
In order to foster innovation and economic growth through business investment in R&D, this program aims to:
- Provide direct support for industry investments in new or improved R&D infrastructure, thereby stimulating increased R&D activity.
- Facilitate high-quality collaboration and mutually beneficial research partnerships among industry, universities, and research providers.
- Generate broader spill-over benefits resulting from these investments, particularly in the manufacturing sector, by strengthening supply chains and enhancing workforce skills, with a specific focus on priority industry sectors.
- Support the development of R&D infrastructure that enhances the capabilities of Victorian industries to capitalize on opportunities in emerging areas of innovation.
The eligibility criteria for the Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund include:
- Businesses seeking to establish a strong presence in Victoria by utilizing essential research and development equipment/infrastructure to support their R&D activities and strengthen their operations.
- Businesses engaged in providing R&D services, who can benefit from the fund to enhance their capabilities and expand their research and development endeavors.
Applicants who are approved for funding are required to accomplish their project activities within a maximum duration of 12 months. However, in certain cases, successful applicants have the opportunity to discuss and negotiate project timelines beyond the initial 12-month period on an individual basis.
To be considered eligible, the organization must meet the following criteria:
- Operate as a business within the state of Victoria, holding a valid Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Employ a minimum of 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff members or have an annual turnover ranging from $1.5 million to $100 million.
- Commit to fulfilling all employer-related obligations in compliance with the National Employment Standards, pertaining to industrial relations.
- Adhere to and enforce the provisions outlined in Victoria’s Climate Change Act of 2017, Fair Jobs Code of 2018, Local Jobs First Policy of 2018, and Gender Equality Act of 2020.
- Present a compelling rationale for why government funding is essential to accomplish the desired project outcomes or to drive significant improvements.
The program offers grants that cover up to 50% of eligible project expenses, requiring applicants to contribute a minimum 1:1 co-contribution. The minimum grant amount is $250,000 (excluding GST), while the maximum grant amount can reach up to $2 million (excluding GST).
Retrospective activities, where project expenses are incurred prior to accepting a letter of offer, are not eligible for funding. Applicants who commence their projects before executing a grant agreement do so at their own risk.
Approval for funding does not automatically guarantee entitlement to the tax offset provided by the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive (R&DTI). It is the responsibility of applicants to seek specialized advice regarding the potential implications of grant funding on future tax claims under the R&DTI.
Funds received from other Victorian or Australian Government programs cannot be considered part of the co-contribution. The entirety of the project expenditure, including grant funding and co-contribution, must be utilized exclusively for eligible project activities as specified in the program guidelines.
How to Apply
There is a two-stage application process. Expressions of Interest open on Thursday 6 July 2023 and close at 5 pm on Friday 18 August 2023.
We strongly advise potential applicants to thoroughly assess their capacity to fulfil the program requirements and evaluate how they align with the assessment criteria before allocating substantial resources towards the development of an application. It is crucial to ensure that the eligibility criteria and assessment criteria are well understood and can be met before investing significant time and effort into the application process.
If you require further information about the R&D industry or need assistance with navigating its intricacies, please reach out to Fullstack. Happy to help!