Article by Avant Group - Top 10 Government Grants for the Manufacturing Sector

Top 10 Government Grants for the Manufacturing Sector

Posted: August 20, 2019

There is a shift in the manufacturing sector in Australia as we move to what is commonly touted as the Manufacturing 4.0 revolution.

Both the Federal and State Governments understand how important manufacturing is to the Australian economy and are investing millions of dollars in grants and funding for this vital sector.

For businesses in the manufacturing industry, I have rounded up a list of the top 10 federal and state grants available to your business.

Entitlement programs are those that a firm is entitled to and therefore can access if they meet entry criteria and are undertaking eligible activity and expenditure.

Competitive programs are those where there is a finite amount of funding available and your firm will need to compete for funding in a grant cycle amongst other applicants.

For information on how Avant Group can help your business apply for any of the below grants, email me at [email protected] or visit our website.

Federal Grants

1.      Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive

Grant Type: Entitlement

Value: Unlimited

Status: Registrations for claiming expenses for the FY18/19 are now open.

The Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive program offers up to a 43.5% refundable tax rebate for businesses undertaking research and development activities within Australia.

It is designed for eligible businesses conducting genuine research and development activities that will create new knowledge, with a commercial outcome.

 Businesses can receive funding either as a cash payment or a tax offset.

 In order to claim the R&D Tax Incentive any activity must include:

  • Research
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Creation of Intellectual Property

Registrations to claim expenses for the previous financial year open on July 1, 2019 for June year end companies. Whereas registrations for December year end companies open on January 1, 2020.

More information about the R&D Tax Incentive here. 

2.      Federal Entrepreneurs’ Programme – Accelerating Commercialisation

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: up to $1 million, on a matched funding basis.

Status: Open

Are you manufacturing a ‘novel’ or innovative product, process or service that is yet to be seen in the marketplace? Then you may be eligible for up to $1 million of matched funding.

Accelerating Commercialisation is a part of the Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme and provides up to 50% of the costs associated with commercialising a novel product.

Applications can be made at any time.

More information can be found here

3.      Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

Grant Type: Entitlement

Value: Up to $150,000 annually, for up to eight years

Status: Open now to claim expenses for FY18/19 OR FY18/19 and FY17/18 for first time applicants.

If you are exporting an Australian product or service into international markets, then you may be eligible for up to $150,000 for up to eight years.

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is one of Australia’s most successful economic stimulus initiatives in history and allows small and medium-sized businesses (i.e. with an annual turnover over of up to $50 million), to claim 50% of eligible marketing expenditure, net the first $5000.

This means you can claim expenses such as airfares to travel shows, advertisements including Google AdWords and Facebook advertising, salaries for marketing consultants, sample costs and more.

More information about the EMDG here.

4.      Advancing Renewables Program

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: Between $100,000-$50 million in matched funding

Status: Applications can be made at anytime

If your business is working on a project that will develop renewable energy technologies, particularly projects that will help reduce the cost of renewable energy, increase its value and improve current technology, uptake levels and relevant skills, you may be eligible for funding from the Advancing Renewables Program.

There is no closing date for this program, although there is a set budget each financial year and projects are chosen by ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) based on how well each project meets the merit criteria.

More information can be found here.

5.      Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) Project Fund Programme

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: $100,000-$2 million, on a matched funding basis. 

Status: Ongoing. Applications can be made at any time.

FIAL aims to support innovation projects that encourage collaboration between small and large businesses in the food and agribusiness sector, to lift productivity and competitiveness.

The fund aims to deliver innovation projects that address at least one of the program’s four key objectives:

  • Identifying opportunities to reduce regulatory burden
  • Increasing collaboration and commercialisation between researchers and industry
  • Improving capabilities to engage with international markets and global supply chains
  • Enhancing management and workforce skills

More information here.

6.      Defence Global Competitiveness and Sovereign Capability Grant

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: $15,000-$150,000 on a matched funding basis for Defence Global Competitiveness. 

Value: $100,000 to $1MIL on a matched funding basis for Defence Sovereign Capability Grant.

Status: Ongoing. Applications can be made at any time.

The Defence Global Competitiveness Grant offers funding for projects that will build Australia’s defence exports to be stronger, more sustainable and more globally competitive.

Projects that are eligible for funding include:

  • Buying, leasing, constructing, installing or commissioning of capital equipment including specialist software to enhance cyber security
  • Design, engineering and commissioning activities
  • Workforce training and accreditations

To be eligible to apply for this funding, you must be an Australian SME with less than 200 employees.

Learn more: Global Competitiveness Grants here.


7.      Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: Up to $500,000 for infrastructure projects and up to $50,000 for strategic planning projects (matched funding)

Status: Ongoing. Applications can be made at anytime

The Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund aims to invest in growing jobs and building infrastructure that will help strengthen communities in regional Victoria.

The fund prefers to invest in ‘priority sectors’ such as

Medical and new energy technology

  • Food and fibre
  • Transport
  • Defence and construction technology
  • International education
  • Professional services

The fund is divided into several streams, which generally do not have any grant caps or matched funding requirements. 

Of course, the government still favours funding projects that have a higher level of co-contribution!

Businesses that apply also need to make sure the project can deliver economic growth and stimulus in regional Victoria.

Although the guidelines state there are no grant caps, the program prefers to provide up to $500,000 for infrastructure projects and up to $50,000 for strategic planning.

More information here

8.      Boost Your Business Vouchers

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: Between $10,00-$50,000

Status: Currently closed. Next round likely to open within the next 2-3 months

The Boost Your Business Vouchers is a Victorian funding program to help businesses grow and become more productive. To receive a Boost Your Business Voucher you must build capability in one or more of three main service areas:

Market Engagement – services to assist companies and organisations to identify and secure international market development and export opportunities

Innovation – services to assist companies to develop or commercialise new products and improve process innovation

Business Capability – services to assist companies to position them to support future growth

There are a number of voucher streams that you can apply for depending on the industry your business is in.

Voucher streams include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Asia Gateway
  • Defence, Aerospace and Security
  • Food Innovation
  • Social Enterprise Capacity
  • Victoria Israel Innovation
  • Entrepreneurs with Disability

 More information can be found here.


9.      NSW Jobs Fund

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: Varies depending on grant. Grant and loan values ranges from $15,000-$1.2 million

Status: Ongoing, applications can be made at any time.

Jobs for NSW offers grants and financial support including loans, to start-ups and SMEs that can demonstrate ability to deliver jobs for NSW.

There is $190 million invested in the fund over four years, with several grants and financial program for a variety of businesses and sectors.

Applications are ongoing, however there is a limited amount of funding, so the sooner an application is submitted the better.

Jobs for NSW website


10.  South Australia Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund

Grant Type: Competitive

Value: $100,000-$1 million in matched funding, depending on the stream applied for.

Status: Ongoing. Applications can be made at any time

South Australia has launched a new Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund, with a focus on early-stage startups and scaling-up established businesses.

The $28 million fund will also support collaboration between enterprise, researchers and universities and the commercialisation of new products and services, building research and research infrastructure capability in South Australia.

The funding is allocated into three streams, with each stream able to fund specific projects.

Stream 1: Strategic Research Initiatives: Supports research initiatives that will create innovative solutions or translate research into industry or commercial outcomes that address economy-wide challenges for South Australia.

Stream 2: Startup and Early Stage Company Incentive: Provides entrepreneurs with funding to start and scale their innovative early-stage business.

Stream 3: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem Initiatives: Supports programs, events and activities that have broad benefit to the startup community.