Up to $2.5M is available for companies pursuing innovative industrial biotech & bioproducts projects and enhance Queensland’s reputation for the biofutures industry.
Biofutures Industry Development Fund
The Queensland Biofutures Industry Development Fund is a $5 million repayable fund to help well-advanced industrial biotech proponents to get large-scale projects through the final stage of financial due diligence to secure financing from investors.
Queensland Government consultation identified that one of the most significant impediments to greater commercialisation in the industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector is insufficient supply of risk capital for the pre-commercial study phase of a potential project. The Biofutures Industry Development Fund will provide an interest free source of repayable risk capital funding to assist companies to undertake studies to finalise critical outstanding issues that emerged from investor review of their project bankable feasibility study.
The program is a two stage process. Initially applicants are asked to address the eligibility of their project. If the project is deemed eligible, the applicant will then be asked to submit a more detailed application which will be assessed against set criteria, outlined in this document.
The key objectives of the Fund are to:
- assist prospective projects in the Queensland bioindustrial and bioproducts sector to successfully transition from their study phase through a final investment decision and into construction
- deliver value for money through the achievement of performance-based funding outcomes that align to the objectives of the Fund
- ensure transparency and accountability in the decision-making process through the application of agreed funding criteria and maintenance of an audit trail of documentation and decisions
- uphold the position of the state through the rigorous review, assessment and contract management of projects approved under the Fund.
Achieving these objectives will result in the timely and structured provision of financial assistance to individual proponents/organisations for the development of biofutures sector projects and bolstering economic development and innovation in Queensland.
Under the Fund, the Queensland Government will provide cash grants generally up to 50% of the total value of the finalisation studies and capped at a maximum of $2.5 million. The grants would occur in instalments that are tied to progress milestones. The first instalment however, may be made in advance in order to provide the seed capital required to commence work.
To be assessed submissions to the Fund must address each of the following criteria:
1. Business case
The project under study should clearly identify the opportunity being addressed by the project. This should include:
- market size, structure and growth trend
- key success factors
- market competitors
- feedstock types and any other process consumables
- potential supply sources and supply chains
- plant and equipment involved with all stages of the process
- key services and infrastructure demands (e.g. electricity, gas, water, etc.); and
- critical outstanding issues that emerged from investor review of the bankable feasibility study.
2. Funding and value for money
The project will need to address:
- the overall cost estimate for the construction stage (i.e. execution and commissioning) of the project
- the proposed source of finance for the project construction stage (i.e. execution and commissioning) including the status of discussions / negotiations with potential project debt / equity financiers to obtain this funding
- the project’s projected viability and profitability including a 20 year financial cost /benefit analysis
- the estimated annual direct full time employment for the construction stage
- the estimated annual taxable wages for direct full time construction stage employees
- the estimated annual direct full time operational stage employment
- the estimated annual taxable wages for direct full time operational stage employees.
3. Company management and governance
The Queensland Government will have a keen interest in understanding the value and financial status of the proponent including all relevant corporate entities and parent companies that may own a project special purpose vehicle.
This will include the management structure and ownership of the company including company chain of command and hierachy and the roles and responsibilities of the management structure, including their management capability and experience.
Key to any successful project development in Queensland are the relevant environmental approvals. The applicant will need to have identified the key land use and environmental permits and approvals required for the construction and operational phases.
Social impacts of the project and sustainability measures also need to be outlined.
5. Stakeholder management
The application should also describe the key external stakeholders for the project, their respective interests and level of influence over the project, and planned communication strategies with these stakeholders.
6. Risk management
The project under study will be required to identify the risks and controls during both the construction and operational phases of the project.
7. Project delivery
A detailed project schedule that notes the main project milestones and indicates activity sequencing, financing activities and decision points should be included.
8. Change management
An assessment of the magnitude of change that the project would bring to the company and the plans to manage these changes.
9. Cost management
The application will include a detailed cost estimate for the extra studies and planning required to finalise and resolve the critical outstanding issues that emerged from the bankable feasibility study, the methods and techniques used to produce the estimate and what allowances have been made for contingency.
Applications is on an ongoing basis.
All applications will be reviewed as they are received and applicants will be advised of outcomes as decisions are made.