The Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund (MNIIF) is a competitive, merit-based grants program. The MNIIF’s purpose is to support innovative, job creation projects that strengthen and diversify the Melbourne North regional economy and employment base.
The MNIIF was established by the Australian and Victorian Governments in response to the announcement by Ford Australia that it will cease its vehicle and engine manufacturing operations in Australia from October 2016.
For the purposes of the MNIIF, the ‘Melbourne North region’ is defined as the four Local Government Areas of:
The $24.5 million MNIIF is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($15 million), the Victorian Government ($4.5 million) and Ford Australia ($5 million) over 3 years to 30 June 2016.
The minimum grant under the MNIIF will be $50,000. There is no maximum grant limit within the funding available under the MNIIF. Grants may be up to 50 per cent of eligible expenditure as described in the MNIIF Guide for Applicants
What projects are eligible?
To be eligible, proposed projects must:
- generate sustainable new jobs in the Melbourne North region; and
- have at least $100,000 in eligible project expenditure.
Funding will not be provided for:
- activities undertaken prior to receiving a grant;
- projects focused on current job retention;
- projects that adversely impact existing businesses in the region;
- projects that involve the movement of business activity from other areas of Australia to the Melbourne North region; or
- activities undertaken after 30 June 2016.
Who can apply?
Applicants must be incorporated, have an ABN, be registered for the GST and be liable to pay income tax. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have committed funding, exclusive of in-kind contributions, to the proposed project that is free of other government funding and which at least matches the funding which is being sought from the MNIIF.
Joint applications are acceptable, provided they have a principal applicant who is both the primary project proponent and an eligible applicant.
The following are not eligible to apply:
- individuals, partnerships, or trusts, however an incorporated trustee can apply on behalf of a trust;
- Commonwealth, State and Local Government agencies and bodies (including government business enterprises);
- entities that do not comply with State or Commonwealth law, such as Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999; or
- Ford Australia and its related companies.
How do I apply for the program?
Round 1 of the MNIIF opens for applications on Friday, 26 July 2013. Applications are invited for projects across industry sectors that generate high quality, skilled jobs.
This first round closes to applications at 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday, 26 September 2013.
Applicants must submit their MNIIF application on the AusIndustry application form. The form is accessible on the AusIndustry website, www.ausindustry.gov.au, or by contacting the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46.
How will an application be assessed?
AusIndustry will determine eligibility of applications. Eligible applications will be jointly assessed by AusIndustry and the Victorian Government Department of State Development, Business and Innovation against the following weighted merit criteria (weightings in brackets):
- the level of net economic benefit the proposed project will bring to the Melbourne North region (40%), including:
- the number of sustainable, new jobs generated through the project;
- the contribution of the project towards the diversification of the region’s economy; and
- the extent of new innovation, including new technology;
- the demonstrated skills, experience and resources available to successfully undertake the project (15%);
- the demonstrated capacity of the applicant to provide matching funding for the project (15%);
- the sustainability of the project outcomes to continue over the longer-term without the need for ongoing need for Government support (15%); and
- the extent to which the project would be unlikely to proceed without Government support (15%).
The MNIIF Advisory Committee will review all eligible applications and provide recommendations of projects to be supported to the Australian Government Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing.
The MNIIF Advisory Committee will comprise of a representative from the Australian Government, the Victorian Government, and two independent members of the Melbourne North business community.
The Australian Government Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, in consultation with the Victorian Government, will make the final decision as to whether an application will be funded under the MNIIF.
Funding under the MNIIF
A total of $24.5 million in funding is available. There will be competitive funding rounds and all funds awarded must be expended by 30 June 2016 when the Fund will close.
The minimum grant under the MNIIF will be $50,000. There is no maximum grant limit within the total grant funding available under the MNIIF. Grants will be up to 50 per cent of eligible expenditure.
Financial assistance will only be provided for:
• up to 50% of projected eligible project costs ; and
• on the provision of satisfactory evidence that the agreed payment milestones have been achieved.
The following conditions will apply to funding investment proposals:
• applicants must be able to provide documentary evidence that demonstrates they can fund the costs of the project not met by the funds being sought under the MNIIF;
• a minimum cash commitment by the proponent, exclusive of in-kind components, which at least matches the total amount of government grant available under the Fund;
• the government grant will be calculated to take account of funding provided under other applicable government programs so that:
(a) a genuine contribution of at least 50 per cent is made by the applicant; and
(b) MNIIF funding is not being leveraged by other government funding.
What will an applicant be asked to do if successful?
Successful applicants will need to sign a single Funding Agreement with the Australian and Victorian Governments in order to receive grant funding. The compliance and reporting requirements for customers will be set out in that Funding Agreement.
Grant Writing Assistance
For more information about how Treadstone can assist you with your grant applications, call us for a confidential discussion on (03) 9008 5937 or email us