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VIC Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund

VIC Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund

  • Expressions of Interest (EOI) open until: 18 August 2023
  • Grants: matched grant funding of between $250,000 and up to $2 million. The funds offered covers up to 50% of a project’s eligible expenses. However, applicants must provide a minimum 1:1 co-contribution.

The Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund will encourage businesses in Victoria to invest in new or improved R&D infrastructure to support the expansion of Victoria’s R&D capability across important industry sectors and increase company R&D spending.

Key Requirements

The funding can benefit a business, an industry, or both. However, it must demonstrate how the project will increase Victoria’s business expenditure on R&D in the medium to long term.

The program will fund new R&D infrastructure projects that align with Victoria’s priority industries, as outlined in the Made in Victoria: 2030 Manufacturing Statement. These industries include:

  • New energy technologies, such as batteries, solar, hydrogen, and wind.
  • Technology related to health, such as medtech, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and consumer healthcare.
  • Manufacturing of food and agriculture.
  • Space, aviation, and defense.
  • Digital and cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing, and quantum technology.

This program is competitive, and successful applicants must meet the program’s assessment criteria. The most competitive applications will meet all selection criteria. A crucial part of the evaluation process is to prioritise projects that establish impactful R&D facilities in Victoria, which may not have been possible without government support.

  • In Stage 1, a panel will assess eligible applications against the EOI assessment criteria, including eligibility, alignment to program objectives, need for funding, and other conditions of funding. An inter-departmental oversight panel will then determine which applicants will be invited to Stage 2.
  • In Stage 2, projects will be assessed based on their alignment with program objectives to increase business expenditure on R&D, their contribution to sector capability, the capacity and capability to successfully implement the project, and other project benefits.

What is eligible for funding?

The funding will assist in the acquisition and implementation of capital equipment, which will be recorded as fixed assets in the applicant’s accounting and tax asset registers. Expenses related to the construction or outfitting of buildings for R&D activities, including those aimed at improving processes, creating prototypes, and evaluating and testing new products and processes, may also be eligible for consideration.

Eligible project expenditures include the following activities:

  • Investment in testing or specialised apparatus, equipment, and technology
  • Investment made to construct a structure or a portion of a building
  • Building expenses related to the addition, alteration, or improvement of a structure
  • Staff training specifically related to the setup or operation of the new R&D infrastructure
  • Installation and commissioning costs for machinery or facilities, including personnel costs and contractor fees
  • Costs of accreditation for facilities and/or equipment that are evaluated and granted industry-specific standards (such as ISO standards)

Eligible project expenditures must:

  • Be incurred by the grant recipient within a year after the execution of the grant agreement
  • Be a direct expense related to the project
  • Exclude the Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Examples of typical projects might include:

  • Businesses seeking to establish new or expanded R&D infrastructure within their own operations to deliver process improvements, prototyping, evaluation, and testing of their own products and processes.
  • Service providers specialising in providing R&D services to support the establishment of new or expanded R&D infrastructure intended to be accessible to clients in their sector.
  • Businesses that are part of a consortium with partners, including public sector organisations. The supported infrastructure could be established within either the lead applicant or partner organisations.

What companies are eligible for funding?

The Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund is open to organisations that have identified essential R&D tools and infrastructure that will assist their R&D endeavors and establish their operations in Victoria, as well as companies that offer R&D services.

The project activities for successful applicants must ideally be completed within a year. Successful project timeframes of more than 12 months may be negotiated on an individual basis by applicants.

To be eligible, the organization will need to:

  • Be a legally-structured company with a minimum 3-year trading history that is registered in Victoria and has an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Have a business presence in Victoria
  • Employ at least 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or generate more than $1.5 million in yearly revenue

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.