Up to $5M is available from Industry Tech Fund to accelerate the emergence of new products and / or services based on a platform technology.

 

Industry Tech Fund

Industry Tech Fund provides businesses participating in collaborative, large scale, co-funded technology projects with funding to accelerate the emergence of new products and / or services based on a platform technology.

A platform technology is a group of technologies that is used as a base upon which other applications, processes or technologies are developed.

Platform technologies that may be incorporated into eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • autonomous vehicles
  • sensors
  • robotics
  • application of big data
  • artificial intelligence
  • nanoelectronics and nanotechnologies
  • biotechnology
  • advanced manufacturing
  • quantum technologies
  • advanced materials.

 

Background

The Queensland Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland strategy delivers on the government’s commitment to building a new economy—one that is strong and diversified, builds on the state’s competitive strengths and generates the knowledge-based jobs of the future.

The Advance Queensland IndustryTech Fund (ITF) aims to accelerate the development and deployment of significant, highly collaborative, industry-based platform technology projects in Queensland to spur innovation-led economic growth.

 

Objectives

The Industry Tech Fund aims to deliver a transformative ‘step change’ that speeds the emergence of new products and/or services based on a platform technology, or the convergence of platform technologies, with global potential across 1 or more industry sectors.

These industry sectors include the 6 Advance Queensland priority sectors:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • aerospace
  • biofutures
  • biomedical and life sciences
  • defence
  • mining equipment, technology and services.

Initiatives in other industry sectors and key Queensland industries such as education, tourism, health and community services, and agriculture will also be considered.

 

Funding

Queensland Government funding from a minimum of $250,000, to a maximum of $5 million will be available per Industry Tech Fund project.

Industry Tech Fund projects will be funded at a minimum 1:3 ratio of government-to-applicant funding.

Industry Tech Fund projects will represent a minimum total investment of $1 million (i.e. a minimum $250,000 Queensland Government grant and a minimum $750,000 cash contribution from lead applicants and their partners, excluding GST).

 

Eligible Projects

Industry Tech Fund projects should:

  • deliver the development or deployment of an innovative, unique or new platform technology product, process or service with the potential to achieve high growth and create jobs in Queensland
  • be based around formalised partnerships with separate Queensland-based industries, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and/or startups (for the purposes of this project, SMEs are classified as companies with less than 200 employees)
  • involve a minimum of 3 Queensland-based collaborators contributing funding and/or in-kind support:
    • collaborating organisations cannot be related, such as part or subsidiary
    • collaborators may include Queensland-based SMEs and/or startups, customers or end users, universities, research institutes and other organisations that can contribute to the demonstration and commercial development of platform technologies
  • commit a 30% minimum portion of ITF Queensland Government and overall funding to be spent with Queensland SMEs and/or startups as part of the project (excludes funding spent on the lead applicant and partners e.g. salaries and on-costs etc)
  • have identified applications and growth paths for the platform technology, ideally across multiple sectors
  • commence within 90 days after the Queensland Government signs the application approval (Financial Incentive Agreement)
  • be completed within an agreed project timeframe up to a maximum of 3 years
  • have a distinct set of activities, with aims and outcomes achievable and reportable within set timeframes
  • undertake research and development, testing, demonstration trials or commercialisation of a platform technology or the convergence of platform technologies into new systems
  • aim to deliver a transformative ‘step change’ that speeds the emergence of new products and/or services based on a platform technology, or the convergence of platform technologies, with global potential across 1 or more industry sectors.

The following are examples of eligible costs under the Industry Tech Fund:

  • salary costs (including on-costs) for staff and contractors working on the activities of the funded project
  • capital expenditure on plant and equipment for the exclusive use of the project, to a maximum total amount of 20% of the total project cost (excluding GST) unless otherwise negotiated as part of the Financial Incentive Agreement
  • consumables required specifically for the project, to a maximum amount of 10% (excluding GST) of the total project cost
  • services provided by unrelated external parties (including testing, design and other professional services)
  • legal and intellectual property costs
  • travel, accommodation and subsistence costs solely associated with project activity
  • technical validation/demonstration processes.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for funding under the Industry Tech Fund, the lead applicant must:

  • be a business (GST-registered, with an ABN)
  • have total cash contributions (from the applicant and partner organisations) that are at least 3 times greater than the ITF funding sought
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to fund at least 75% of the cost of the eligible project, other than from Queensland Government funding sources, e.g. by providing certified financial statements (including profit and loss statement and balance sheet) for the previous 2 financial years or otherwise demonstrating that match funding is guaranteed
  • where a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is formed for the project, key participants in, and funders of the SPV may be required to meet the above due diligence requirements
  • have ownership, access to, or beneficial use of, any intellectual property that is the subject of, or is necessary to carry out your project.

 

Timing

Industry Tech Fund applications open on an ongoing basis.

 

Funding Recipients

Funding has been awarded to the Boeing Company for their remotely piloted aircraft research project.

Funding has been awarded to the Redback Technologies and its partners Springfield Land Corporation, Microsoft, Energy Queensland and the University of Queensland.

 

More Information

 

FAQ

What is the IndustryTech Fund (IndustryTech Fund) and what does it aim to achieve?

This Advance Queensland initiative will encourage the development and deployment of platform technologies in existing and emerging industries. The program provides investment for collaborative research and development activities, focusing on technology platforms (e.g. unmanned aerial vehicles for application in aerospace, defence, agriculture, oil and gas field management, disaster management, environmental monitoring and more).

 

Why involve small to medium size enterprises (SMEs)?

The speed at which technology is disrupting industries around the world is increasing, posing huge challenges for traditional large businesses.

Working with SMEs and startups brings a considerable innovative leap for these traditional industry leaders, as they are able to source innovative new products and services, experiment with new business models and discover new market needs at a much higher speed than they would have otherwise. Likewise, Queensland SMEs and Startups benefit from working with major global players, providing upskilling and new market opportunities.

 

What is meant by transformative ‘step change’?

A transformative ‘step change’ is a recognisable and significant shift from business as usual. The change may enable new, or significantly improved, processes or products, or increase productivity, or provide new solutions to end users and customers.

The change should be a significant step towards the development and commercial application of technologies that improve productivity and competitive advantage.

‘Step change” technology once developed, could be beneficial to several industries and elements of the technology can be utilised for further development by others.

 

How do I apply?

An online IndustryTech Fund application form is available on the IndustryTech Fund page on the Advance Queensland website.

What is the Financial Incentive Agreement?

The Financial Incentive Agreement is the legally binding contract between the project lead (the funding recipient) and the Queensland Government. It sets out the terms and conditions of the IndustryTech Fund grant.

 

What are the key dates?

Expressions of interest applications are now open and can be lodged online.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch and potentially to lodge a Stage 2 Application.

 

Can I submit a Stage 2 application immediately?

Submission of a Stage 2 application will be by invitation only. Submissions will be invited following an initial assessment and shortlisting of expression of interest (EOI) applications.

The application process has been designed as a 2 stage process to provide applicants with feedback on the assessment of their proposed project before significant effort is invested.

EOI applications not shortlisted for progressing to the next stage will not be considered for further funding.

 

When do Stage 2 applications need to be lodged?

Applicants invited to submit a Stage 2 application will be advised of a due date for their submission.

 

Can an application be revised after submission?

Applications cannot be revised after submission. However, applicants must advise the Queensland Government of any changes likely to materially affect eligibility or the circumstances of the project.

 

Can I submit a hardcopy application?

All applications must be submitted online. No hardcopy applications will be accepted.

 

What is required for Stage 1 application and assessment?

Expressions of interest (EOI) should be submitted online. An online EOI application form is available on the Advance Queensland website.

 

What is required for Stage 2 application and assessment?

For the Stage 2 application a full detailed proposal is required. This will include:

  • a more detailed response to each of the assessment criteria
  • a detailed project plan including milestones, timeframes, budget and funding breakdown
  • evidence and details of commitment of all partner organisations
  • demonstrated ability to fund at least 75% of the cost of the eligible project, other than from Queensland Government funding sources. (For instance by providing certified financial statements, including profit and loss statement and balance sheet, for the previous 2 financial years or otherwise demonstrating that that matched funding is guaranteed).

Proposals shortlisted following Stage 1 will also be requested to pitch their application to an assessment panel.

 

How are applications assessed?

The guidelines for applicants outline the 5 assessment criteria.

Applications for Stage 1 expressions of interest and Stage 2 will be assessed by a panel. The panel for Stage 1 will only consider the first 4 criteria (excludes technical merit).

The panel may include external commercial and technical advisors, depending on the nature of the project proposal being assessed.

 

Will I be advised of the assessment outcome?

Applicants will be advised in writing of the outcome of their application after each stage of assessment.

 

If I am invited to deliver a ‘pitch’ what is expected?

Following assessment of the Expression of Interest (EOI) applications, shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch their projects to an assessment panel.

The pitch is an opportunity to present and discuss the project proposed in the application. Pitch style may vary based on individual preference, however, each pitch is expected to address the selection criteria, include a short presentation and participate in a question and answer discussion led by the assessment panel.

The time allocated to each applicant may vary at the discretion of the assessment panel considering the scale and complexity of the proposed project. Applicants will be advised of the amount of time allocated at the time of invitation to present their pitch.

Applicants will be required to bring some or all of their partners to the pitch.

 

Will early research be funded?

Early research is not funded under this fund. The IndustryTech Fund is focused on the development and application of platform technologies. It is therefore expected that projects will have a strong focus on proving commercial capabilities and applying these in real world scenarios.

 

How many projects are likely to be funded?

The number of funding recipients will depend on the size and number of approved applications.

 

What is the minimum project budget?

The funding incentives target larger scale investment, to grow Queensland leadership and capability in the development and delivery of platform technologies.

IndustryTech Fund projects will be funded at a minimum 1:3 ratio of Government-to-applicant funding.

The minimum project that will be considered for funding is $1 million which represents a $250,000 Government grant and a $750,000 cash contribution from lead applicants and their partners, excluding GST.

 

What is the maximum project budget that will be considered for funding?

The funding incentives target larger scale investment, to grow Queensland leadership and capability in the development and delivery of platform technologies.

IndustryTech Fund projects will be funded at a minimum 1:3 ratio of Government-to-applicant funding.

The maximum grant funding that will be considered is $5 million (excluding GST) e.g. minimum projects costs of $20 million is required for an IndustryTech Fund grant of $5 million.

Funding is limited by the IndustryTech Fund’s budget.

 

How much funding is required from the applicant organisation and the partner organisation(s)?

The applicant and partner organisations must collectively contribute at least 75% of the total project budget as a cash contribution.

The cash contribution from the lead applicant and their partners may include contributions from governments other than the Queensland Government, however the cash contribution from private sector sources must be at least 25% of the project costs.

The cash contribution must be a new investment. Historic investments or expenses prior to application cannot be counted towards the cash contribution.

 

How is ‘cash’ defined?

For the purposes of the IndustryTech Fund, cash is the funds contributed directly by the application and/or project partners towards eligible costs defined in the program guidelines.

Contributions as cash are deemed to include:

  • Salary costs (including on costs) of employees and contractors who are assigned to work on the core business of the project; and
  • Where an employee works only partly on the core business of the project (and is assigned to the project for more than 20% of his or her work responsibilities, the salary cost of the employee multiplied by the percentage of the employee’s total working hours spent on the project (for 1 FTE).

 

How is funding paid?

Funding will be paid progressively against agreed project milestones. These milestones will be set out in the relevant schedule of the Financial Incentive Agreement.

 

What are ‘organisational overheads’?

For the purpose of this funding program, organisational overheads are the institutional and administrative overhead costs attributed to a position, such as facilities and accommodation-related costs, ICT costs and general administrative support costs. In some organisations this is calculated as a percentage of the salary costs. These on-costs are not eligible for IndustryTech Fund funding.

 

Are salary on-costs eligible for funding?

Yes. Costs associated with the employment of an individual, such as superannuation, workers compensation, payroll tax, and leave loading are eligible under the IndustryTech Fund.

Can an in-kind contribution be counted towards the recipient’s funding obligation?

No. Only cash contributions at a minimum ratio of 1:3 Government-to-applicant can be counted towards the overall applicant contribution. However, it is open to include the nature and value of in-kind contributions in an application.

 

What is the minimum spend with Queensland small to medium entreprises (SMEs) and startups?

A core objective of the program is to support Queensland based SMEs and startups.

Projects are expected to spend 30% minimum portion of the Queensland Government contributed funds and overall project funding with Queensland based SMEs and startups.

The amount to be spent must be specified in the application and will be considered in the assessment process under the criteria of impact and collaboration.

The lead applicant and partner organisations that are defined to be Queensland based SMEs are unable to count their own eligible projects costs towards the SME spend e.g. salaries and on-costs.

 

What counts as spending with Queensland small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups?

The amount spent with Queensland based SMEs and startups must be cash, and be either directly related to participation in the project, or associated with the procurement of goods and services for the project directly from Queensland SMEs.

 

How is a ‘Queensland-based organisation’ defined?

The organisation’s ABN must be registered to a principal address in Queensland which must be maintained for the duration of the project.

 

How is a partner organisation in a project defined and managed?

A partner is an organisation that is materially contributing to the project and its outcomes, as evidenced by a cash or in-kind contribution, and its involvement in the project.

A partner organisation to a lead applicant is required to enter into a formal collaborative agreement with the lead applicant and shall be obliged to provide their respective contributions to the project.

Partner organisations must not be related to the applicant organisation—including subsidiary organisations.

 

Is there a minimum number of organisations that can be involved?

Projects should have a minimum of 3 partners contributing funding and/or in-kind support, including Queensland-based SMEs and/or startups, universities, research institutes and other organisations that can contribute to the demonstration and commercial development of platform technologies.

 

Does the lead applicant organisation need collaborative agreements with partner organisations?

Yes. The organisation leading the proposal will be required to enter into and manage a formal collaborative agreement with their partner organisations.

Partner organisations will be obliged to provide their respective contributions to the project. The Queensland Government will contract only with the project lead organisation.

Do collaborative agreements with partner organisations need to be in place at the time of application?

No. Applications should include details of proposed partnerships with the intent of executing a formal collaborative agreement if successful.

Applications should as a minimum include letters of commitment to the project from major participants.

The establishment of formal collaborative agreements will be a condition precedent to be achieved within a nominated timeframe from the execution of the Financial Incentive Agreement.

 

What expectations does the Queensland Government have in respect to intellectual property (IP)?

The lead applicant and collaborative partners must have ownership, access to, or beneficial use of, any intellectual property that is the subject of, or is necessary to carry out the project.

The lead applicant and collaborative partners will ensure that rights to IP developed as part of the project will be subject to a separate agreement as agreed between the lead applicant and all collaborative partners. However, as a measure of good faith, it is expected that any subsequent negotiations for the use or application of the IndustryTech Fund solutions by the Queensland Government would take into account the financial support provided to the applicant as part of the IndustryTech Fund.

General information about IP in Australia can be found on the IP Australia website.

 

Will entity and project information remain confidential?

Yes. The Queensland Government is bound by information security and information privacy legislation. All information will be treated confidentially and will not be disclosed, unless required as stated in the Financial Incentive Agreement.