Drought Resilience Innovation Grant

What is the Drought Resilience Innovation Grant?

The Drought Resilience Innovation Grant is part of the Future Drought Fund Research and Adoption Program which aims to achieve Australian Government objectives to build long-term drought resilience and preparedness.



The Future Drought Fund (the Fund) is a long-term investment fund that provides a sustainable source of funding to help Australian farmers and agricultural-dependent communities and businesses become more prepared for and resilient to the impacts of drought. Established under the FDF Act, the Fund is part of the Australian Government’s Drought Response Resilience and Preparedness Plan.

From July 2020, $100 million is available each year from the Fund to invest in drought resilience programs.

The programs will support farm businesses to be better informed, more productive, profitable, and adaptable, and to adopt more resilient land and natural resource management practices. The programs will also build capacity in agricultural-dependent communities and businesses to be less vulnerable to the socio-economic impacts of drought. The Fund supports a range of initiatives including research and adoption of new and existing knowledge and technology; improved farm business planning and decision making; improved environmental and natural resource management; and a range of community resilience initiatives.



The total funding available for this grant round is $37.6 million (GST inclusive) and will be provided over 3 financial years as follows:

3 grant types are available in this EOI and grant opportunity.

  • Ideas Grants will provide $50,000 (GST inclusive) for one year.  
  • Proof-of-Concept Grants will provide funding of up to $120,000 (GST inclusive) for one year. 
  • Innovation Grants will provide funding of between $300,000 to $1.1 million (GST inclusive) per year for a maximum of 3 years.

This grant opportunity will run through a 2-part process. 


Eligible Projects

You can only spend the grant on eligible expenditure items that directly support the project and for expenditure incurred between the start date and end date of the grant agreement.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • personnel
  • expert services of a third party if the services are directly related to and essential for the project
  • travel and accommodation costs essential to the project within Australia. Total travel and accommodation expenditure (including meals and incidental costs) is generally limited to 10% of total eligible expenditure
  • expenditure on development essential to the project, including technical and logistical support within Australia
  • equipment (and its maintenance) and consumables essential for the project
  • production of computer programs, aids and tools that can be used by farmers and the agricultural-dependent community
  • production of teaching materials that are accessible to a broad range of users
  • access to national and international research and infrastructure facilities including specialist archives, collections and databases
  • access to technical workshop services linked to and justified explicitly against the project (for example, machine tools and qualified technicians)
  • publication and dissemination of existing research outputs and outreach activity costs
  • specialised computer equipment and software essential to the project
  • web hosting and web development specific to the project
  • workshops, focus groups and conferences that are essential for the conduct of the project (including reasonable hospitality costs such as morning or afternoon tea and lunch),
  • applied research carried out in the context of development, extension, adoption and commercialisation activities (as relevant)
  • activities that may be characterised as preparing for commercialisation, such as:
    • developing prototypes, novel products, processes and services to solve problems and address opportunities
    • exploring a market opportunity
    • understanding intellectual property issues to inform future strategy development
    • early mapping of potential commercialisation pathways, business models et cetera

For the Innovation Grants (only), you will be required to develop a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plan for the project and submit this to the department within the timeframe specified in the grant agreement (within 3 months of acceptance of your Activity Work Plan). You will undertake MEL activities, and contract an independent evaluation of the project before its completion.


Eligible Applicants

Applications are sought from eligible entities or consortia with a lead that is an eligible entity.

To be eligible to apply for a grant, the lead applicant must be based in Australia and capable of entering into a legally binding and enforceable agreement with the Commonwealth.

Eligible entity types are outlined below:

  • Persons
  • Sole Traders
  • Partnership
  • Companies
  • Cooperatives
  • Incorporated Associations
  • Indigenous Corporations, registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)
  • a registered higher education provider for the purposes of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth), that is registered in a provider category that permits the use of the word ‘university’
  • Local Governments
  • Non-corporate State or Territory Statutory Authority
  • Corporate State or Territory Entity
  • Statutory Entity
  • Trustee on behalf of a Trust



Applications close 8 September 2021.


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