The Stream Two of the Regional Investment Activation Fund (RIAF) supports projects that are time-sensitive and strategically significant for a priority industry or location, with grants of up to $10M. RIAF Stream Two is a two-stage application and assessment process, where a pre-submission meeting for an EOI is needed before being invited to submit an expression of interest. This is then followed by a detailed application. Eligible applications will be assessed on their comparative merits against the nominated eligibility and assessment criteria.
Deadlines and Timings
Pre-submission of expressions of interest (EOI) is ongoing.
Invitation to submit EOI is within five business days of the pre-submission meeting.
Notification of EOI application assessment outcome is within seven business days of the EOI application submission. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a detailed application.
Detailed applications close on 31 December 2024 or when funding has been fully allocated.
Overview and Grant Amount
The Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) seeks to identify projects through a two-stage process, where the first stage is the submission of the EOI process, if assessed as suitable, may be recommended to the NSW Government for funding support under RIAF. The RIAF will co-invest with eligible entities in catalytic projects that will deliver, or have the potential to deliver, significant economic, social and/or environmental benefits for a priority industry or location. Available grants are from $1M to $10M, with project objectives as follows:
- support the growth of existing industries and the establishment of new/emerging industries where regional NSW has a strong actual or potential competitive advantage
- activate the economic potential of special activation precincts, regional job precincts, renewable energy zones, hydrogen hubs and other priority locations through increased private sector investment
- create new high quality employment opportunities
- support the shift towards higher-value-added activities and participation in global value chains and supply chains
- promote collaboration between businesses, education and research institutions and other parties through sharing of knowledge, resources and infrastructure
Eligibility and Criteria
To be eligible to apply for funding through Stream Two of the RIAF, applicants must:
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be one of the following:
- a company incorporated in Australia
- a company limited by guarantee
- an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
- an incorporated association or co-operative
- an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.
- be registered for GST
- be financially viable and able to demonstrate that they are likely to remain so over the duration of the project
- have at least $20 million public liability insurance or be able to secure before entering into a Funding Deed if successful
Applicants must provide a cash co-contribution of at least 50% of the total project cost.
Joint applications are strongly encouraged, provided the lead applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria. The lead applicant must enter into the Funding Deed and will be held ultimately responsible for the delivery of the project.
Applicants can be based internationally, interstate or in either metropolitan or regional NSW. International businesses will need an ABN, be registered for GST, have at least $20 million in public liability insurance and be an eligible entity (as listed above), to enter into a funding deed if they are successful.
To be eligible for funding through Stream Two of the RIAF, projects must:
- be located in one of the 93 regional NSW local government areas, the Unincorporated Far West or Lord Howe Island. Projects located in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Wollondilly), Newcastle or Wollongong Local Government Areas are not eligible
- demonstrate the project would not occur in regional NSW at all, or in the same timeframe, without government investment support
- be delivered by 30 May 2025. It is recommended applicants have a COVID plan in place to mitigate any potential delays due to COVID-19
- support sustainable employment opportunities and drive increased productivity, innovation and competitiveness of businesses in regional NSW priority industries or in a location of strategic importance
- deliver significant economic, social and/or environmental benefits for a priority industry or location
- provide proof of $20 million of public liability insurance at time of contracting
- secure approvals to meet project timeframes
- confirm secured cash co-contribution
- not be suitable for financial support under other Australian and/or NSW Government funding programs, or requires a NSW Government funding co-contribution to support an application to another government or industry program
Stream Two of the RIAF grant funding may be used for capital and other expenses directly related to the delivery of eligible projects. This may include:
- purchase of land (if necessary for the project and suitable alternatives to rent do not exist)
- purchasing, constructing, installing and/or commissioning new plant, equipment and/or machinery
- purchasing, constructing, establishing and/or fitting out new facilities, buildings or hubs
- purchasing technology and/or intellectual property (IP) required to undertake the project
- upgrading existing facilities, buildings, plant, equipment, machinery and/or technology where necessary, to deliver the project and achieve its outcomes
- cost of contractors to construct new buildings and facilities
- external project management and administration costs up to 10% of project cost
- contingency costs up to 25% of project cost
- eligible costs incurred once both parties have signed a funding deed
For more information, interested parties are encouraged to read the program guidelines set by the funding grant. Likewise, since this is a two-stage process where an EOI submission is required, applicants are advised to read through the provided preparation checklist in their website. Submissions may be lodged through their online portal.
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