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Australia–UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships

Australia–UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships

  • Applications are open until: 19 January 2024
  • Grants: ranging from $10,000 to $2 million are available, constituting 50% of eligible expenditures

The Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships is a 3-year program, spanning from 2023-24 to 2025-26, emblematic of the Australian Government's commitment to global collaboration in clean energy and technology. Aligned with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, this initiative underscores Australia's dedication to meeting international climate obligations. Announced on 31 July 2023, this program is a pivotal element of the joint funding call with the United Kingdom (UK), complemented by the UK Government's (Innovate UK) Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Competition.

In line with the Government's Strategic International Partnerships measure, the program provides Australian companies with funding support of up to $10 million for hydrogen research, development, and demonstration projects conducted in collaboration with UK companies. Projects must align with the objectives outlined in both the Australian Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy and the State of Hydrogen 2022 report. This includes the production of renewable hydrogen and derivatives, and the use of hydrogen in hard-to-abate industries, such as iron and steelmaking, chemicals and heavy transport sectors.

The program's objectives are threefold:
- propel the development, innovation, and application of hydrogen technologies, aiming to curtail costs linked to establishing a renewable hydrogen economy. The overarching goals include facilitating industrial decarbonisation and expediting the adoption of net-zero technologies to reduce emissions
- enhanced collaboration among businesses in Australia and the United Kingdom
- leverage private and non-Commonwealth funding to drive support for clean energy projects, technologies, and their associated supply chains within Australia.

Key Requirements

In your application, it is important to address all assessment criteria. The committee will evaluate the merits of your application based on your responses to these criteria.

To be considered for funding, your application must attain a minimum score of 50 per cent against each assessment criterion, reflecting the optimum value for money.

  • Assessment Criterion 1: Alignment with Program Objectives
    • Demonstrate alignment by elucidating:
      • how your project will propel the advancement and innovation of hydrogen technologies, to realise a renewable hydrogen economy or support the decarbonisation of industry or transport sectors, ultimately reducing emissions and achieving net zero by 2050.
      • how your project will cultivate increased international collaboration between Australian and UK businesses to mitigate costs or create novel economic and market opportunities associated with the widespread adoption of clean hydrogen technologies globally or within Australia
      • your strategy for business growth or enhanced long-term productivity resulting from the project. Specify the tangible business or economic benefits your project will yield by leveraging bilateral funding for clean hydrogen projects between Australia and the UK.
  • Assessment Criterion 2: Capacity, Capability, and Resources to Deliver the Project
    • Demonstrate capacity by detailing:
      • the track record of you and your staff or contractors in managing similar projects, and the availability of key personnel with the requisite skills and experience, encompassing project management, research, and technical expertise
      • your collaboration with the UK partner, outlining governance arrangements, project management strategies, and the capability or support of international partners. Include details on any existing research work, the stage of maturity of partnerships, and linkages
      • your current or future access to infrastructure, resources, facilities, capital equipment, technology, intellectual property, and necessary regulatory approvals essential for project delivery.
    • You must provide a comprehensive project plan, encompassing governance, division of project activities among partners, and risk management frameworks addressing ethical technology use, foreign interference, technology transfer, and other environmental, social, economic, or political risks.
    • Additionally, furnish a detailed project budget illustrating how funds will be utilised throughout the project period, accompanied by any assumptions made in estimating eligible expenditure.
  • Assessment Criterion 3: Impact of Grant Funding
    • Demonstrate the impact by explaining:
      • the likelihood of the project proceeding without the grant and how the grant will influence the project in terms of size and timing
      • the total investment the grant will leverage
      • how you intend to measure the success of your project
      • the broader impacts the project might have outside your organisation, including economic, social, climate, or environmental effects on supply chains, industry, regions, or communities.

What is eligible for funding?

For your project to meet eligibility criteria, it must:

  • contribute to the advancement of clean hydrogen or derivative technologies, as well as hydrogen applications
  • focus on one or more of the specified hydrogen technologies, including:
    • low-cost, low-carbon hydrogen production
    • integration of hydrogen production with renewables
    • safe and efficient hydrogen storage and distribution
    • utilisation of hydrogen to decarbonise the transport (heavy land transport and maritime), industry, and power sectors
    • hydrogen business models
    • low-carbon hydrogen carriers, such as ammonia and methanol.

Eligible activities may include:

  • research and development of hydrogen production, transport, infrastructure, and storage technologies, including electrolysis, methane reforming, pyrolysis, tanks, pipes, de/blending, compression, sensing, and metering
  • development of materials and equipment
  • trialling, feasibility or pilot testing, demonstration, construction, or installation of hydrogen equipment
  • prototype development or field testing of hydrogen equipment
  • process design and engineering
  • project planning
  • knowledge-sharing activities, including workshops.

To qualify as eligible expenditure, it must:

  • be a direct cost of the project or
  • be incurred by you for necessary project audit activities.

The project expenditure must be incurred between the project start and end dates to be considered eligible. Commencement of your project can be elected from the date of notification of a successful application.

What companies are eligible for funding?

To qualify for eligibility,

  • the applicant must have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • The project must be undertaken in collaboration with a partner organisation situated in the United Kingdom.

Eligible entities include:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia,
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust, or
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity.

Mandatory for consideration is the submission of joint applications. The lead organisation, serving as the primary driver of the project, must meet the eligibility criteria for application.

Collaboration with one or more organisations based in the United Kingdom is imperative, and these organisations should have submitted a grant application to Innovate UK’s Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Competition within 10% of the grant amount.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.