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The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Capability Program (TCF SCP) offers grants from $250,000 to projects that willboost innovative capability in the TCF industries at the enterprise and workplace level.

The minimum grant size is $250,000 and funding must be matched on a dollar for dollar basis. This means that the smallest project that can receive a grant must have a budget of at least $500,000 in eligible expenditure, with $250,000 contributed by the grantee and $250,000 from the Australian Government.

Dates: Round 2 opened on 6 June and will close on 5 August 2011. The program runs from July 2010 to June 2015.

Workshop sessions: AusIndustry is holding workshop sessions to assist applicants to complete their application. Workshops will be held in capital cities over June and July 2011 and have now been scheduled. Those seeking help to complete a competitive application are strongly advised to attend.  If you wish to participate, you must register online (see workshop sessions for times and locations).

About the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Capability Program
In 2009, the Australian Government announced the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) innovation package of $401 million in support of Australian TCF businesses. This includes the TCF Strategic Capability Program (TCF SCP). This package was augmented in 2010 with the addition of $5 million allocated to the TCF SCP.

Subject to available funding there is no upper limit on grant size and large, innovative projects are encouraged. However, successful applicants are required to match Commonwealth project funding dollar for dollar (e.g. a $500,000 dollar project would consist of $250,000 in grant funding and $250,000 in funding provided by the applicant).

Eligible applicants
To be eligible to apply for TCF SCP funding the applicant:

  • must be an entity undertaking an eligible TCF activity (such entities can apply individually or on behalf of a consortium) or be a prescribed entity applying on behalf of a consortium, with at least one consortium member undertaking an eligible TCF activity
  • must demonstrate that it can fund the total costs of the proposed project, excluding the Commonwealth contribution;
  • must demonstrate that its application is for total eligible project expenditure (including the proposed Commonwealth’s contribution) of $500,000 (exclusive of GST) or more;
  • must demonstrate that it has access to, or the beneficial use of, any Intellectual Property (IP) necessary to carry out and commercialise the project;
  • must be solvent;
  • must not have outstanding judicial penalties against it (that are not subject to appeal) in relation to workplace relations, OH&S and workers compensation and must not have entered into a consortium agreement with entities that have such outstanding penalties;
  • must comply with all relevant Federal and State legislation (such as the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999), awards, industrial instruments and codes of practice relating to the performance of work in the TCF industries and must not have entered into a consortium agreement with entities that do not comply with the relevant legislation, awards, industrial instruments and codes of practice.
  • must, if a clothing manufacturer, be accredited in accordance with the Homeworkers’ Code of Practice or be seeking accreditation and must not have entered into a consortium agreement with entities that are not accredited or are not seeking accreditation in accordance with the Homeworkers’ Code of Practice, if they are eligible to do so.

Eligible project activities
The eligible activities are:

Innovation, research and design capability: To support projects that will build innovative capability, increase intensity of research and technology development or contribute to market leading design relevant to manufacturing in Australia.
Collaboration, networks and supply chain participation: To foster networks and partnership activity among firms, including with research and educational institutions, and develop their role in local and global supply chains.
Accessing market opportunities: To provide support for firms and organisations to access markets on the basis of unique design, innovation and knowledge-driven competitive advantage.
New business models and strategic repositioning: To enable firms and organisations to reposition themselves in response to changing market conditions and opportunities with innovative business models.
High-performance work and management systems: To develop an inclusive, partnership approach to productivity-enhancing organisational change and improvement in the workplace.
Education and skills: To fund education and skills development initiatives within firms, including in partnership with external education and training providers.
Environmentally sustainable and ethical practices: To enable firms to pursue environmentally sustainable practices and to ensure ethical supply chains.
Eligible expenditure
Successful applicants are required to contribute one dollar for every dollar contributed by the Commonwealth. For the purposes of calculating the Commonwealth grant amount or the contribution by the applicant, funding from other Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth government entities is excluded.

The project budget consists of the sum of TCF SCP Grant funding, the applicant’s cash contribution and funding from any other government source.

Only eligible expenditure may count towards this budget. Only expenditure accrued after agreement execution and on or after the approved project start date is eligible. Should the project’s eligible expenditure (after excluding other non-TCF SCP government funding) total less than $500,000, then the project will be too small to be eligible for funding.

The ‘double dipping’ of multiple sources of government funding for the same activities is not permitted. Clawback provisions are included in the Funding Agreement to ensure Commonwealth funds are recovered should double dipping occur.

The total project budget will be calculated on the basis of eligible expenditure. Types of expenditure that could be considered as eligible expenditure, to the extent they directly support the project, would include:

  • Wages and salaries;
  • contractors and consultants;
  • plant and equipment*
  • prototyping;
  • IP protection and licencing costs (not including costs arising from disputes relating to IP);
  • research and development costs;
  • supply chain costs;
  • education and skill development costs;**
  • change management costs;
  • collaboration costs;
  • acquisition (for adaption in the project) of new leading edge technologies costs; and
  • other expenditure, if directly related to eligible project activities, may be considered eligible.

* Given the scope and purpose of the program, applicants should not focus the majority of their application’s proposed eligible expenditure on investment in plant and equipment.

** Given the range of education and skills programs already offered by the Commonwealth and State/Territory governments, the TCF SCP does not fund activities that these other programs are already designed to address.

Expenditure funded by the grantee using non-cash considerations is not considered eligible expenditure. However, this does not prevent the use of resources, at a cost, to conduct eligible activities for the agreed project to be counted as entity contributions. The costs of conducting eligible activities (for example existing employees being allocated to the project) are generally allowed as eligible expenditure.

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