New Grants

 

The $50 million Manufacturing Transition Programme provides grants to help manufacturing businesses become more competitive and sustainable.

The Programme supports capital investment projects that help businesses:

  • move or expand into higher value or niche manufacturing activities
  • build skills in higher value and knowledge intensive activities in new or growing markets.

Grants are available for up to 25% of eligible costs for projects with a minimum investment of $4 million.

Applications for Round 1 opened on 1 September 2014 and will close at 11.59pm AEST on Friday 24 October 2014.

 

Expert Grant writing assistance 

Treadstone provides grant writing assistance for companies looking to apply for grants.   Don’t leave it till the last minute to put your application in.  Ask the experts. Contact us now for a confidential discussion about your grant application  (03) 9008 5937 or email us.

 

1 Programme overview

The $50 million Manufacturing Transition Programme provides grants to help manufacturing businesses become more competitive and sustainable.

The grants support capital investment projects that help businesses:

  • move or expand into higher value or niche manufacturing activities
  • build skills in higher value and knowledge intensive activities in new or growing markets.

 

‘High value and knowledge intensive activities’ can include activities that:

  • focus on niche manufacturing
  • manufacturing that needs a highly skilled workforce
  • compete on quality, uniqueness, reliability and prestige
  • use innovation
  • use new composites and high performance materials such as bio-based sources
  • use new technology in production processes such as computer-aided design and manufacturing.

 

These types of activities are common in the following manufacturing sectors:

  • biotechnology
  • nanotechnology
  • rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing
  • medical and scientific devices and equipment
  • pharmaceuticals
  • chemicals
  • transport equipment and components
  • niche areas of food processing
  • textiles, clothing and footwear
  • biosecurity.

 

This is not an exhaustive list of manufacturing activities or sectors that we consider to be high value and knowledge intensive. You can include other activities or sectors in your application, but make sure you show how your proposed project meets Programme requirements.

 

2 Grant amount and grant period

The grant amount will be up to 25% of eligible project costs. The minimum grant amount is $1 million and the maximum grant amount is $10 million. The maximum grant period is 2 years. A further 6 month extension may be approved.

No more than 25% of your total eligible project costs can be funded from government grants.

 

3 Who can apply

To apply, your business must:

  • be a trading corporation, incorporated in Australia under a law of the Commonwealth
  • currently be manufacturing in Australia
  • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • not be named by the Affirmative Action Agency as an organisation that has not complied with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).

You must provide:

  • evidence of conditional support from the business’ Board (or support from the owner or Chief Executive Officer if there is no Board) that the business can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding
  • a project funding strategy, including an Accountant Declaration, that confirms your business can fund its share of the project costs. You must use the Accountant Declaration form in Appendix C.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an income tax exempt corporation
  • an individual, partnership or trust (however, an incorporated trustee corporation may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a Commonwealth, State or Local Government agency or body (including government business enterprises).

 

4 Before you apply

If you are interested in applying call the contact centre on 13 28 46, or contact us at business.gov.au so we can assign a customer service manager to you. We will tell you whether your proposed project is suitable and guide you through the process if you decide to go ahead with your application.

You should also read and understand the general funding agreement before completing an application. View the funding agreement at business.gov.au.

 

5 Eligible projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • include eligible activities and eligible expenditure
  • have at least $4 million in total eligible expenditure.

Your project can include activities at different locations, as long as they are all in Australia.

Your project cannot be funded by this grant and by another Commonwealth grant. You can apply for grants under any Commonwealth programme, but if your applications are successful, you must choose either the Manufacturing Transition Programme grant or the other Commonwealth grant.

You can submit separate applications for as many projects as you like, but you can only accept funding for one project under the Manufacturing Transition Programme.

 

5.1 Eligible activities

Eligible activities can include:

  • changing or extending your existing premises
  • buying, building, installing and commissioning new machinery and equipment
  • training in the use and maintenance of new machinery and equipment
  • buying technology or intellectual property.

Other activities may also be approved.

 

5.2 Eligible expenditure

Grant funding will only be provided for eligible expenditure on an approved project.

  • For guidelines on eligible expenditure, see Appendix A.
  • For a list of ineligible expenditure, see Appendix B.

 

The guidelines on eligible expenditure may be updated. If your application is successful, the version that applies to your project will be the version that is current when your funding agreement is signed (by both the Commonwealth Government and you).

 

Project expenditure is only eligible if it is incurred between the project start and completion date. You may start your project from the date that we notify you that your application is eligible and complete. However, we will not provide grant funding to unsuccessful applicants, and we are not responsible for any expenditure by successful applicants until a funding agreement is in place. If you choose to start your project before a funding agreement is signed, you do so at your own risk.

 

6 How to apply

You can only submit an application during a funding round.  

Applications for Round 1 opened on 1 September 2014 and will close at 11.59pm AEST on Friday 24 October 2014.

To apply, you must:

  • complete the online Manufacturing Transition Programme application form on business.gov.au
  • provide all the information that is needed for us to assess your application.

 

Note that any information you provide that is considered intentionally misleading or inaccurate will be investigated.

We will acknowledge all applications in writing within 10 working days of the closing date.

If you cannot submit online, contact us at business.gov.au or 13 28 46.

 

7 The criteria you need to address

To be competitive, you will need to address each merit criterion in your application. Your application will be assessed against the indicators listed beneath each merit criterion. The application form asks questions that are related to the indicators below. The amount of detail and supporting evidence you provide in your application should be commensurate with the project size, complexity and grant amount requested.

 

7.1 Merit Criterion 1

The extent to which your project represents a transition or expansion of your business’ operations or activity to higher value-added or more knowledge intensive manufacturing (25 points).

  1. Describe how the project will result in a transition that leads to higher value-added or more knowledge intensive operations.
  2. How will the project change the way your business competes (either in existing or new markets)?
  3. How new is the product or process to the world, Australia, your industry or your business?
  4. Describe your business operations before and after the project (evidence of transition).

 

7.2 Merit Criterion 2

The level of net economic benefit your project will achieve (25 points).

  1. Describe the business case for the project. Outline how the project will improve the competitiveness of your business. Quantify any expected project benefits.
  2. Describe the impact your project will have on the workforce (in terms of numbers, location and skills) during the project period and for ongoing operations. Outline the expected number and types of jobs created by the project, including the skill level and sustainability.
  3. Provide a competitor analysis showing your competitive advantage.
  4. Will the project create new markets and/or products for your business? If yes, describe the market opportunity and route to market.
  5. What are the benefits to the industry sector and the supply chain? Is there a strategy to work with local firms? Does the project create potential for more investment and expansion activity?
  6. Provide evidence of community support for the project.
  7. Demonstrate the commercial viability of the project

 

7.3 Merit Criterion 3

The value for money offered by your project (20 points).

  1. What impact will the grant have on the project in terms of the size and timing of the project, the return on investment, project pay-back period, and expected future growth in your business operations?
  2. Will the project go ahead without the grant and if not, why not? (This might include reasons such as availability of other finance sources, internal hurdle rates for return on investment and/or payback period etc)
  3. For grants of $5 million and more, include any opportunities to showcase your successful transition or expansion for other Australian-based manufacturers.

 

7.4 Merit Criterion 4

Your business has a demonstrated capacity and capability to carry out the project (20 points).

1. Describe the capacity and capability of key staff to successfully implement the project:

-Who are the key management and technical staff involved in the project?
-What experience and or expertise does the project team have in successfully implementing similar projects?  Discuss in terms of track record and relevant project management experience.

2. Demonstrate your business has the resources required to deliver the project including integrating the project outcomes into your ongoing business operations. Provide evidence that you have access to infrastructure, capital equipment, technology, intellectual property, and any required regulatory or other approvals.

3. Attach your business plan (it should refer to the project).

4. Attach a detailed project plan, including milestones and budget.

5. Demonstrate the ongoing financial viability and sustainability of your business.

 

7.5 Merit Criterion 5

The expected productivity improvements your project will achieve (10 Points).

  1. Describe the expected productivity improvements. This can include expected improvements to: the structure of your business, business innovation, organisation or manufacturing process improvements, knowledge management, information technology etc.

 

8 How we assess your application

We will first assess your application against the eligibility criteria. If your application is eligible, we will assess it against the merit criteria and refer your application to the Manufacturing Transition Programme Advisory Committee, an independent committee of experts.

The committee will assess your application against the merit criteria and the related indicators and compare it to other eligible applications before recommending which projects are funded.

Your application will be scored out of 100 and must score highly against each merit criterion to be recommended for funding. While all applications will be assessed against the same merit criteria, we will score your application relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. We expect larger and more complex projects to include more detailed supporting evidence.

 

8.1 Final decision

The Minister for Industry will make the final decision on which projects will be funded..

If you are successful, you will receive a written offer.

If you are unsuccessful, you will be notified in writing and be given an opportunity to discuss the outcome with us. You can submit a new application for the same project (or a similar project) in any future funding rounds. You should include new or more information to address the weaknesses identified in the previous application.

The Minister’s decision is final in all matters, including:

  • the approval of applications
  • the size of funding to be awarded
  • the terms and conditions of funding.

Decisions will not be reviewed.

 

9 If your application is successful

 

9.1 Funding agreement

You must enter into a funding agreement with the Department of Industry, acting on behalf of the Commonwealth.

You will have 30 days from the date of offer to execute a funding agreement with the Commonwealth (‘execute’ means both you and the Commonwealth Government have signed the agreement). We may withdraw the offer if the funding agreement is not executed within this time.

Note we do not have to make any grant payments until there is an executed funding agreement in place.

An offer of funding may be subject to special conditions. Before we execute the funding agreement, we will ensure your funding agreement is consistent with Australia’s international obligations under the World Trade Organisation.

If you enter an agreement under the Manufacturing Transition Programme, you cannot receive grants for this project under any other Commonwealth granting programmes.

The Commonwealth may recover grant funds if there is a breach of the funding agreement.

 

9.2 How the grant will be paid

The funding agreement will state the:

  • maximum grant amount to be paid
  • grant ratio which is the proportion of costs covered by the grant.

The maximum grant amount cannot be exceeded under any circumstances. If you incur extra eligible expenditure, you must meet it yourself.

Grant funding will be paid as agreed milestones are achieved. The amount of each payment will be based on the:

  • eligible expenditure incurred that is directly related to the project
  • agreed funding ratio for the project.

Twenty per cent of the total grant funding is set aside for the final payment. This is paid when a satisfactory final report is received.

 

Expert Grant writing assistance 

Treadstone provides grant writing assistance for companies looking to apply for grants.   Don’t leave it till the last minute to put your application in.  Ask the experts. Contact us now for a confidential discussion about your grant application  (03) 9008 5937 or email us.

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