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SA Defence Innovation Partnership - Activator Fund

SA Defence Innovation Partnership – Activator Fund

  • Applications opens until: 18 August 2023
  • Grants:  matching co-contributions up to $1.6 million

The South Australian Government initiates the Defence Innovation Partnership through Defence SA, in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Group, The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

The Activator Fund intends to enable the State to initiate and participate in larger-scale innovation activities aligned with Defence's most pressing challenges. The Fund expects to have ongoing impacts on the South Australian innovation ecosystem by creating opportunities for follow-on investment from national and international R&D programs, spinoffs into the local industry and elevating local industry to supply into international defence/space programs.

Key Requirements

The initial theme of the Activator Fund is Remote Undersea Surveillance Data Processing, Analysis, and Networking. This subject will capitalise on South Australia’s research and development strengths. This is in line with the Defence Innovation, Science, and Technology program’s aims for undersea warfare and trusted autonomy. The initiative will develop unique techniques to support the creation of an undersea situational awareness image using sensor data. The emphasis is on autonomous sensor processing, collaborative sensing, distributed sensor networks, and mission control planning.

Proposals from consortia led by South Australian universities and business will be sought including Australian Department of Defence and other national and international partners. The Activator Fund will make up to $1.6 million available for the first theme, with successful applications expected to match co-contributions, with at least a quarter (25%) of the co-contributions as cash.

Minimum requirements for collaboration:

  • Eligible proposals must have at least one South Australian University Partner Organisation, one industrial Partner Organisation from South Australia, and an Australian Participation of the Department of Defence (preferably as a Partner Organisation).

The minimum conditions for matching financing are as follows:

  • A minimum of 1:1 matched (cash and in-kind) funding is required for the funding amount requested from the Activator Fund ($1 requested from the Activator Fund to $1 donated by participants).
  • Matched money from participants should contain at least 25% cash, and support from the Australian Department of Defence can be included.
  • Work supported by the Activator Fund must be carried out in South Australia. Contributions from Lead and Partner Organisations may be used to fund work that takes place outside of South Australia, but the majority of total project activity must take place in South Australia.

What is eligible for funding?

Eligible activities may include:

  • engaging and/or providing stipends research personnel to work on the Activator Fund project
  • acquiring hardware and software
  • access to research infrastructure expenses
  • travel expenses directly associated with the Activator Fund project

What companies are eligible for funding?

The Lead Organisation for an Activator Fund proposal is the entity with which the Minister for the Environment works. A funding agreement will be signed between the defence and space industries. The organisation in charge of an Activator Fund proposal may include:

    • a South Australian public university
    • a South Australian-based business (with an ABN) that is either headquartered or has significant operations in South Australia that are related to the Activator Fund topic.

Partner Organisations for an Activator Fund proposal can be:

    • Government agencies in Australia, including the Department of Defence
    • Government agencies in South Australia
    • Australian universities
    • Organisations for Publicly Funded Research
    • Startups, SMEs, and major corporations in Australia
    • Government, research, and business entities from other countries

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.