What is the FIAL Cluster Grant Program?
The FIAL Cluster Grant Program is a grant opportunity to help businesses, government and researchers unite to tackle challenges in regions and/or cities.
The Cluster Grant Program is inspired by FIAL’s exciting findings in the Capturing the Prize: The A$200 Billion Opportunity for the Australian Food and Agribusiness Sector. These opportunities can help future-proof Australian businesses and equip them with the right insights to focus on areas of high growth potential.
In 2018, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, trading as FIAL, launched its first Cluster Program with great success and celebration across the sector. Over the past three years, FIAL has supported the development and growth of the four cluster recipients. This has enabled them to build their capability and capacity for an innovative and collaborative culture within their region or city.
The Australian Food and Agribusiness Cluster Grant Program 2021 is a continuation of FIAL’s Cluster strategy. It has taken the learnings and feedback from the previous Cluster Program and used this to support the development of new and existing innovative Clusters across the food, beverage, and agribusiness industry.
The FIAL Cluster Grant Program will provide matched funding of $150,000 to four eligible Clusters. Applications for funding below $150,000 are not eligible. The funding must be matched with a minimum of $75,000 cash contribution/s from the Cluster Applicant/s (noting that up to 50 per cent of this amount ($37,500) can come from government sources.
The funding can be used across several eligible activities (including to purchase capital). However, legal fees, project plan fees, strategic and market planning fees, and other similar expenditure, are not eligible.
Please review the below information prior to completing your Application.
- Activities that require non-cash contributions by the Cluster (meaning,’in-kind’ contributions) are not eligible expenditure. FIAL cannot match thein-kind contribution with cash payments.
- Facility-related expenditure is noteligible, except for tourism facilities that aim to attract customers. Abusiness plan which further elaborates on this, must accompany this type of expenditure for it to be eligible.
- Project-management costs (up to a total of 20 per cent of the funding you will receive from FIAL) are eligible.
- All applications must include training activities which make up no less than 5 per cent and no more than 10 percent of the project total (being your contributions, plus those of FIAL).
- Up to 50 per cent of the cash contributions made by the Cluster, being a maximum amount of $37,500, can be used to purchase capital item/s. However, if the Cluster cash contribution originated from other-government-funding-sources, the expenditure will be deemed ineligible. The source of the funding must be explained in the Application.
- Development of strategy documents, export plans, or marketing plans, are not eligible.
- Legal fees are not eligible (this includes IP protection, patent searches and trademark application fees).
- Activities relating to market investigations/understanding are not eligible, unless they are in-market-activities (post the R&D phase), which aim to confirm consumer feedback
- Costs relating to the preparation of this Application or any related project-plan, are not eligible.
- In-market visits and participation in trade exhibition or related expenses,are not eligible. If attendance is a training exercise, FIAL in its absolute discretion, may allow eligibility. This will be considered on a case-by-case bases.
Projects must be completed within 12 months and although some reporting obligations may exist, the reporting is simple and commensurate to the grant amount.
FIAL Cluster Grant Program will fund applications submitted by a Cluster, or on behalf of a Cluster. Applicants must be incorporated as a legal entity and have an Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN); or they must agree to be incorporated and obtain an ACN or ABN at some point, prior to signing the Funding Agreement with FIAL.
Supporting organisations, with an ACN, can complete the application on behalf of new Clusters. However, if successful the Cluster will need to be incorporated as Legal Entity with an ACN, prior to signing an agreement with FIAL.
Proposals should focus on the market insights and provide evidence of customer, consumer, or market pull, including the Cluster’s functional region or city, and their growth challenges.
Applications close 24 May 2021.