The Manufacturing Hub Grant Program (MHGP) Round 3 is available to assist eligible businesses in the Cairns, Central Queensland, Gold Coast, Mackay and Townsville SA4 regions. Through the regional manufacturing hubs, manufacturers can connect with the advanced robotics for manufacturing (ARM) hub to access cutting-edge robotics and associated technologies, robotics expertise, skills development, and industry knowledge. These grants are an opportunity for manufacturers to become more productive, build advanced manufacturing capabilities and create the jobs of the future through.
Deadlines and Timings
Applications are open until 30 June 2024 or until all funding is allocated. Projects must be delivered and completed within 12 months of funding agreement execution.
Overview and Grant Amount
The MHGP Round 3 supports the growth of Queensland’s regional manufacturing industry by helping small to medium enterprises (SMEs) build their advanced manufacturing capabilities. The program assists regional manufacturing SMEs to:
- improve productivity by building international competitiveness, generating jobs and stimulating private sector investment
- adopt new technologies in equipment, robotics, processes, systems, software, data use and analytics
- improve energy efficiency and sustainability, and progress energy and carbon footprint management
- create and maintain high performing workplaces through increased management capability, leadership, and the development of skilled employees including advanced manufacturing apprenticeships and traineeships
Grants between $10,000 and $500,000 (excluding GST) are available for manufacturing SMEs in the SA4 Regions of Cairns, Townsville, Central Queensland, Mackay and the Gold Coast. The grant amount must be no more than 50% of the total eligible activity costs.
Eligibility and Criteria
To be eligible to receive funding under the MHGP, an applicant must:
- be registered for GST and hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be an SME (i.e., an Australian business employing between 5 – 200 full time equivalent employees), or demonstrate that the business should be considered an SME, for which its principal activity and majority of annual turnover is derived from manufacturing
- have its main operations located in one of the eligible Queensland SA4 Regions (Cairns, Townsville, Central Queensland, Mackay and the Gold Coast)
- have operated within Queensland for a minimum of three consecutive years prior to submitting its application
- have a proposed eligible activity
- be able to demonstrate the expected outcomes of the proposed eligible activity
- accept that the department may require security over any or all of the funded items
- not have, and not be an Associated Entity of an entity that has a current active application or funding agreements under MHGP
- not be insolvent or have owners or directors that are undischarged bankrupts
- have the financial capacity and standing necessary to conduct the proposed eligible activity, which includes the funds to contribute financially to the project and not be a federal, state or local government entity, statutory authority or not-for-profit organisation
- be willing to enter into a binding funding agreement with the department that will stipulate that the funding will be used to fund eligible activities
- applicant bona fide checks (status, corporate structure, ownership, directors review etc.)
- background and probity searches (ACCC, banned & disqualified, bankruptcy, adverse media, courts)
- financial capability (historical financials) and viability (funding capacity and sources)
- business and activity risks, and planned mitigations
MHGP applicants can only have one active application or funding agreement at any one time. This criterion applies irrespective of whether an applicant is based in multiple locations (e.g., an applicant may have outlets in the Gold Coast, Mackay, and Cairns) and includes the applying ABN holder and any associated entities. If an applicant has a current active funding agreement, they must complete this agreement before submitting their next application. The total funding received by any business in Round 3 cannot exceed $500,000 per business (ABN holder and any associated entities) inclusive of any previous MHGP grants the business may have received
Grants will be available to successful applicants to support development of their advanced manufacturing capabilities through the following:
- technology adoption
- skills and training
- business development
- ARM Hub services
Eligible Activity Costs
Applicants must identify their expected total activity costs (including eligible activity costs and ineligible activity costs), and the grant amount requested. Grants will only be available towards eligible activity costs up to a maximum amount established in the subsequent funding agreement. The project site address must also be in one of the eligible SA4 Regions. In preparing their application budgets however, applicants are expected to include whole-of-project requirements and both eligible and ineligible costs. For example, a budget to purchase and integrate a robotic welder may include purchase, business integration, training, installation, commissioning, servicing schedule, service support and upgrade capabilities. Applications may include one or more eligible activities and associated critical costs.
Ineligible Activity Costs
Applicants will not be entitled to receive funding in respect to Ineligible Activity Costs which are costs and expenses that are or are associated with:
- any third-party consultant costs involved in preparing an application or supporting materials including any benchmarking reports used to support the application
- the applicant’s flights and all other transport related costs, all personal expenses, including meals, beverages, accommodation, and entertainment expenses
- costs associated with attendance at domestic and international trade show(s) and other related events where the Queensland Government or the Australian Government is already providing subsidised support for the applicant
- fees and charges associated with registering domestic or international patents or other intellectual property
- costs associated with trade skills and training courses below a Certificate III level
- training for apprentices and courses that already attract an Australian or Queensland Government subsidy
- costs for professional development, skills acquisition and accreditation that do not support or enhance the development of advanced manufacturing industry capabilities
- costs for general on-the-job training and supervision
- costs of purchasing second-hand equipment, or replacement or modifications of existing tools (e.g. drills, grinders, screwdrivers, hacksaws and hammers) or machinery (e.g. drill presses, lathes and other workshop machines), or equipment that will be leased or sold
- internal costs associated with implementing certification systems within the business
- legal or other professional advice (such as financial services provided by an accountant)
- normal operating costs (i.e., utility and telecommunication charges, building lease costs, product materials) or ongoing subscriptions
- costs for consultants/contractors that are associated entities with the applicant
- employee salaries or costs associated with recruitment activities
- website development not directly related to an eligible activity
- Eligible activity costs incurred or paid for by the applicant prior to entering into a binding funding agreement with the State
- any other costs deemed ineligible by the department including costs that the department considers are not reasonably incurred primarily for or in connection with the eligible activity
For more information, interested parties are encouraged to thoroughly read the program guidelines set by the funding grant. To begin your application, contact the manufacturing hub in your region for a preliminary discussion regarding your project. If after preliminary discussions you wish to apply, your manufacturing hub will provide you access to the online application portal. Only online applications will be accepted.
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