New Grants

The QLD Ignite Spark Program has grants of up to $75K in support of small to medium businesses in their drive towards innovation to progress prototypes to advanced staged products and/or services that have been tested, validated, customer endorsed and are ready to be commercialised.

Deadlines and Timings

Submission of expression of Interest (EOI) for Ignite Spark is now open, and will close on 31 October 2023 at 11AM.

Overview and Grant Amount

The Ignite Spark Program aims to build a pipeline of support for Queensland’s ecosystem of innovation by supporting innovative start-ups and businesses to grow and stay in Queensland, reach global markets and create new jobs. Funding is available under two tiers:

  • Tier 1 — applicants headquartered in South East Queensland, a 20% matched funding contribution is required
  • Tier 2 — Indigenous businesses and/or applicants headquartered in a Queensland region, a 10% matched funding contribution is required

Successful applicant organisations will be eligible for incubator and other business development support services through an expanded Ignite+ program.

Eligibility and Criteria

To be eligible to apply for Ignite Spark funding the applicant organisation must at the time of application:

  • be a business headquartered in Queensland
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees
  • not be a subsidiary of a group of companies that has more than 50 full-time equivalent employees in total
  • be registered for GST (at time of full application submission)
  • not have received funding for the proposed project activity from
  • commit a cash contribution to the project that is at least equal to 10% of the value of funding sought (for tier 2 applicants) or 20% of the value of funding sought (for tier 1 applicants)

Matched funding can be sourced internally from the applicant organisation or from investors but cannot include any other Queensland Government grant funding. In-kind and non-cash contributions are not eligible as matched funding contributions. Organisations and their related parties are limited to one (1) application per funding round.

Eligible Projects

For the purpose of this program, the project must relate to developing an innovative product and/or service in the following context:

  • innovative solutions to existing problems
  • new to world innovation
  • innovation diffusion (a unique application of a technology that is significantly different to any previous innovation in the market)
  • innovation in the Indigenous context – identified by the applicant as innovative to cultural and community practices

To be eligible for funding, at the time of application, projects must:

  • have an existing functional prototype* for a product and/or service that is scalable to meet industry/market demand
  • demonstrate that the product and/or service is ready to be validated in an industrially or operationally relevant environment
  • demonstrate that the product and/or service is not currently in market

Note: A functional prototype is a working integrated model that demonstrates the core functionalities and features of the product and/or service. A functional prototype is built to test and validate the technical aspects and performance of the product and/or service.

The following projects are NOT eligible for support under this program:

  • clinical trials
  • development of a product and/or service for internal use of the applicant organisation only
  • development of a concept for a new business
  • any improvement of an existing product and/or service that is already in market
  • minor modification/improvement of an existing product and/or service already in an overseas market for the Australian market
  • commercialisation/entry into market or expansion into new markets if the product and/or service is already in market

Eligible Expenditures

Fund expenditure must fall within the following eligible cost categories:

  • salary expenditure (including salary-related on-costs) for employees (including founders, existing and new employees) directly contributing to the delivery of the project (capped at 20% of the total project cost)
  • minor market driven modifications (including modifications driven by results of validation testing)
  • industry compliance testing (including product accreditation from universities/technical institutes)
  • product validation including design for manufacturing assembly and design for manufacturing at scale
  • small scale production of prototype for showcasing and demonstration purposes
  • third party technical services supporting testing and validation including engaging third-party experts to support design review for manufacturability, building product cost models and risk assessment activities
  • third party services providing advice, strategy and planning relating to intellectual property protection and/or intellectual property protection costs
  • equipment not exceeding $9000 per item (capped at 10% of the total project cost)
  • consumables required specifically for project activities
  • travel necessary to undertake project activity – economy airfares and reasonable accommodation costs only will be considered (capped at 10% of the total project cost)
  • overseas testing and validation costs if there is no adequately equipped laboratory or facility existing in Australia to undertake the testing
  • reasonable freight or transport costs required to support testing or validation

Costs NOT eligible for funding include:

  • costs to commercialise products and/or services
  • marketing and promotional costs
  • business development costs
  • industry research papers to establish proof of concept
  • individual items of equipment exceeding $9000
  • costs associated with hard tools for use in the production of stock/inventory
  • capital works and/or physical infrastructure including any buildings or leasing costs, land transportation, telecommunications and IT networks
  • organisational overheads
  • general business operating costs including but not limited to rent, rates, electricity, water, internet, insurance, software and accounting fees

For more information, interested parties are encouraged to read the program guidelines and application help guide set by the funding grant. Submissions must be lodged through their online portal.

Expert Assistance

We have over 15 years of experience preparing EMDG and R&D tax incentive claims and can assist in making sure you receive your maximum rebate.

Working with us means you get the maximum grant with minimum risk and effort. Our expertise includes R&D Tax Incentive registration and tax schedules, Export Grants, Capital Expenditure and Infrastructure Grants.

Get in touch with us and let’s discuss this more in detail.

For information about other Australian Government Grants, visit Treadstone New Grants page and sign up to our newsletter!

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