The FIAL (Food Innovation Australia Limited) Cluster Programme from was created to support the development of clusters in food, beverage and agribusiness. It encourages businesses, public agencies, research and educational institutions to align and work together, to build on their competitive advantage, and develop solutions to challenges and opportunities that they otherwise could not resolve on their own with funding available for:
- Mature clusters will be awarded matched contributions (1:1) of up to $300,000 per year, over three years.
- Embryonic clusters will be awarded matched contributions (1:1) of up to $150,000 per year, over two years.
A cluster is a group of businesses, government agencies, research and associated organisations in a defined geographic area that are interconnected and share a common purpose or interest where each contribute to enhance the innovation, growth and competitiveness of both the region and businesses.
There are many examples around the globe that show innovative clusters accelerate:
- New knowledge and capabilities;
- New product development;
- New business start-ups;
- Private & public investment;
- Productivity improvements;
- Increased competitiveness, and
- Export growth.
Applications close on 16th February 2018.
What FIAL grants are available?
Two levels of support will be provided, one for more mature clusters that have been established and operating for at least one year, and one for more embryonic clusters that are in the development phase, not fully established and are wishing to fast track their formation.
- Mature clusters will be awarded matched contributions of up to $300,000 per year, over three years.
- Embryonic clusters will be awarded matched contributions of up to $150,000 per year, over two years.
FIAL will determine which level of support is awarded.
FIAL is expecting to support two – four mature clusters and one – three embryonic cluster, depending on available funding.
If not already in place, it is expected that a dedicated cluster manager will be appointed. The main role of the cluster manager is to connect the cluster stakeholders, to facilitate the development of the cluster’s forward- agenda and to catalyse collaborative development activities.
What are the eligibility criteria?
FIAL Cluster Eligibility
- FIAL will fund applications submitted by a cluster, or on behalf of a cluster.
- The application must be linked to one or more of the objectives of the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, and ideally to one or more of the Keys Knowledge Priority Areas. Download the Programme Guidelines for full information.
- The proposal should identify:
- The strategic position, vision and the growth potential of the cluster within the contexts of Australia, and globally.
- Strong market insight and evidence of customer/consumer/market pull including the cluster’s functional region and development obstacles.
- The potential for mobilisation of participants to address the functional region and development obstacles, or realise global market opportunities.
- The opportunity for the creation and application of new research based knowledge that is a world first.
- The willingness of cluster-participants to partner and collaborate in this proposal (this may be demonstrated through a letter of intent or commitment form the cluster management committee).
- A promotional plan to share with the broader Australian food and agribusiness sector, cluster learnings, activities and success stories.
- Activities paid for by the cluster using non-cash considerations (or ‘in-kind’ contributions) are not eligible expenditure.
- Activities undertaken to better understand consumer, customer or market behaviour are eligible, as are projects investigating value chain options.
- Eligible clusters must match in cash the total amount of funding they are applying for. Whilst applicants do not need to have all matched funding in place at the time of application, they must show that they can match the value of funds awarded throughout the lifecycle of the grant.
- The cash contribution must come from the industry members of the cluster (i.e. businesses).
- The total cash-contribution from the cluster must match the total funding applied for through this programme.
- Contributions from government agencies, government funded bodies, (Federal and/or State and/or Regional) are welcomed but do not count towards the matched funding contribution required by the cluster. By way of example, if the FIAL grant is for $200,000 and other Government Source Contributions are $100,000; the cluster is still required to make a cash contribution of $200,000. Rural Development Corporations (RDCs) may be cash contributors to the cluster where the RDC contribution is provided from non-government sources (e.g. levies or royalties). Any RDC making cash contributions must provide written statements that the funding is from a non-government source.
What is the assessment criteria?
Applications will need to address the following criteria:
- Does the proposal address one or more Growth Centre priorities or knowledge or management capability priority areas?
- What is the rationale for the government to fund this proposal?
- What is the likelihood of success and what are the risks?
- What are the expected outcomes and how will they benefit the region and/or city, and the nation?
- What are the knowledge, capability and capacity gaps that have inhibited the cluster’s development to date?
How do I apply?
Application forms are available online – FIAL Cluster EOI and must be submitted by the deadline.
In addition to financial assistance, FIAL will offer:
- Guidance on eligibility and assistance in the preparation of your Expression of Interest (EOI).
- Support in preparation of your full Application Form, including business plans.
Want to get the best possible result?
Don’t wait till it’s too late. Working with Treadstone means you get the maximum grant with minimum risk and effort. We provide expert advice and take care of your application, allowing you to continue to focus on your essential business operations.
Treadstone is an experienced, outcome focused team with a proven track record of success since 2008; recently securing three $1m+ grants for our clients. To ensure you have the best chance of getting grant funding contact us or call 03 9008 5937.