Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund

Up to $200,000 is available for the development and commercialisation of sustainable technologies.


The Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF), administered by the Sustainable Community Division of the Department of Environment and Resource Management, assists Queensland based organisations to develop innovative technologies that reduce consumption of fossil fuels, water or greenhouse gas emissions.

The government grant focuses on the development and commercialisation of sustainable technologies, rather than pure research. Since 1999, Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) has committed $8.9 million in funding to 77 innovative energy and water saving projects in Queensland.

The Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) is designed to give Queensland based organisations the kick start needed to move their new technologies to the commercialisation phase. It does this by providing government grants to offset the technical risks associated with developing, adapting or proving new technologies or processes. This helps bring these technologies to fruition faster, providing environmental and economic benefits to Queensland

The Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) focuses on the development and commercialisation of sustainable technologies, rather than pure research. Government grants of up to 80% of project costs (up to $200,000) are available through a competitive merit based  assessment process. Since 1999, Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) has committed over $7 million in funding to over 60 innovative energy and water saving projects in Queensland.

Types of Projects

The types of technologies that are eligible for QSEIF government grants include but are not limited to those that:

  • Reduce energy use and are more energy-efficient than existing options.
  • Use renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels.
  • Substitute biomass or waste for fossil fuels.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas and other pollution emissions resulting from use of fossil fuels.
  • Enable grey water, rainwater, waste water or seawater to be utilised more effectively to reduce consumption of potable water.
  • Substitute recycled or lowgrade water for potable water in industrial processes.
  • Reduce the energy involved in producing, treating, recycling or utilising water.


To be eligible for Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) government grants, project expenses must:

  • Be necessary to achieve the milestones of the project,
  • Be incurred by the applicant,
  • Be paid to parties that are independent of the recipient organisation (for example, NOT costs of existing staff of the applicant organisation, services purchased from your brother-in-law, or equipment purchased from a company of which you are a Director).
  • NOT be normal overhead costs that would likely be paid whether or not you did the QSEIF project (rent, telephone, existing employees, etc). Eligible expenses MAY include design, engineering or other consulting costs, equipment, materials, machining or fabrication, or testing costs necessary to undertake the project. Patenting costs and IP protection may be included, providing that these costs provide no more than 10% of total QSEIF funding.


The applicant must be considered by the department to be a Queensland-based organisation. If there is any reason why this might be in doubt (because, for example, the company is registered in another state, or has branch offices in other states), the application should show how the expertise and benefits gained from the project will be retained in Queensland.

The applicant organisation must:

  • Be able and willing to contribute at least 20% of the project costs.
  • Accept responsibility for managing the project to ensure that it reaches a successful conclusion.
  • Have the capacity to take the product through to the commercialisation stage.

The key intellectual property must belong to the applicant or another Queensland-based organisation. The applicant will likely need to develop an understanding, and possibly formal agreements, with project partners or sub-contractors regarding who will own the IP developed in the project. The intellectual property will not necessarily be in the form of patents. In some cases, particularly if the technology is evolving rapidly, you may decide to maintain the project know-how as a trade secret, relying on a head-start into the market to protect your technology from being copied by competitors. What is important is that the applicant or project partners have a strategy to manage the intellectual property developed in the project. Protection of intellectual property can be an important and complex issue, and applicants are encouraged to seek professional advice.

If your organisation is not able to meet any of these requirements, you may need to enter into a cooperative arrangement with a company that can. Particularly, if you are a university group or research organisation, you might seek out a partner who is positioned to commercialise the technology and to contribute a share of the project funding. You would need to agree with this partner about who will own any intellectual property developed in the project.

Application Process

In the first instance, prospective applicants for QSEIF funding should view the funding guidelines and assess if their proposed project meets the eligibility criteria.

  • Guidelines: Energy Innovation Projects (QSEIF) (PDF, 59K)*
  • Guidelines: Water Innovation Projects (QSEIF) (PDF, 53K)*

Applicants are encouraged to contact a QSEIF project officer to discuss proposals and determine whether proposed projects fit within the QSEIF guidelines. QSEIF application forms are provided once it is clear that a potential project would meet eligibility criteria.

QSEIF operates on a two stage application process. Applicants must follow these procedures to ensure that applications will be considered for funding in the current round.

Stage 1:

Discuss your proposal with a QSEIF project officer and obtain an application form. Periodic discussions with the QSEIF project officer is encouraged as proponents can be provided with guidance and advice as they develop proposals. Applicants must prepare a draft application and submit this by the closing date in the current funding round.

The department will then provide written feedback on applications to assist applicants to further develop and refine their proposals.

Draft applications that have been assessed by the department in Stage 1 as being eligible projects can proceed to Stage 2.

Stage 2:

Upon receipt of written feedback and an invitation to submit a final application, applicants should revise their applications to address outstanding issues identified in Stage 1. Final applications should then be submitted by the closing date in the current funding round. Applicants should note that the department reserves the right to withhold from further processing, final applications submitted that clearly do not meet the QSEIF guidelines or do not address the outstanding issues raised as part of Stage 1.


Two QSEIF funding rounds are being held in 2012

Round 18Round 19
Applications open2 January 20128 May 2012
Closing date, draft applications24 February 201229 June 2012
Expected notification of outcomes to applicants1 August 20123 December 2012


Previous Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) Recipients

These QSEIF funded projects are currently ongoing (as of October 2011).

Renewable Energy

  • Company: Proteus
    Project: Proteus wave power system
  • Company: Bilexys
    Project: Bio-electrochemical production of caustic soda

Energy Efficiency

  • Company: Delafield
    Project: Pulse combustion steam generator
  • Company: Maco Lighting Pty Ltd
    Project: Compact fluorescent ballast/emergency inverter

Fuels, vehicles and power generation

  • Company: Deep Green Research Pty Ltd
    Projects: A combustion engine to electric vehicle conversion package
    Solving range and recharge for small electric verhicles
  • Company: Mathers
    Project: Power steering pump
  • Company: Tritium
    Project: Univeral motor controller
  • Company: Kaon
    Project: SF6-free switch
  • Company: Leslie Consulting Pty Ltd
    Project: Advanced fuel processing technology


  • Company: Aquatec-Maxcon
    Project: Forward osmosis of for water deslination in gas mining
  • Company: Aquatrip
    Project: Leak detection
  • Company: HydroGen Power Industries Pty Ltd
    Project: Tidal desalination for remote community
  • Company: Microelectronic Systems Pty Ltd
    Project: Smart water consumption monitor
  • Company: EDR Australia Pty Ltd
    Project: Nursery irrigation scheduling using weight based technology
  • Company: Energy Answers Pty Ltd
    Project: Grid electric precision irrigation and farming platform
  • Company: Vac-U-Digga Pty Ltd
    Project: Pipe jetting/sluicing technologies


  • Company: Biodry
    Project: Bio-oil and biochar

The fourteenth round of projects to be funded through the Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund were:

  • Bilexys –  $171,000. This project aims to develop bioelectrochemical systems that would use the energy in wastewater of the pulp and paper industry to produce caustic soda (widely used in paper plants and as an industrial cleaning agent). Caustic soda is currently produced in “chloralkai” plants, which is very energy-intensive (requiring about 3.2 kilowatt-hours per kilogram). By using energy released by breaking down organic compounds in industrial waste streams, the process would reduce the electrical energy required to produce caustic soda by an anticipated 60%. Application of this technology throughout the global pulp & paper industry, which uses about 10 million tonnes of caustic soda per year, could yield huge savings. Production of caustic soda on the same site where it is used would also avoid the considerable costs and fuel required to transport caustic hundreds of kilometres. The process would recycle sodium salts used within paper plants, allowing greater scope for the treated wastewater to be recycled and used for other applications.

  • Black is Green  – $69,000. The aim or the project is to develop a mobile charcoal production plant that can readily be relocated to sites where green waste or agricultural waste is available, utilising biomass which could not otherwise be accessed due to the high costs (and fuel) required to transport low-density biomass to a central processing plant. The mobile charcoal unit would allow dispersed sources of biomass to be converted into bio-char (for sequestration of carbon and improvement of soil fertility) or barbecue fuel, with favourable energy and greenhouse benefits. The project would develop the process so that the unit could tolerate typical greenwaste contaminants and rapidly convert waste biomass into charcoal or “biochar”. If only 1% of Australia’s agricultural stubble residues could be converted to charcoal, this would allow more than 100,000 tonnes per year of carbon to be sequestered or to achieve an equivalent reduction in greenhouse emissions by displacing fossil fuels.

  • Vac-U-Digga – $200,000. This project aims to assemble and test a mobile plant that would recycle water used to excavate earth by “pipe jetting”. Conventional pipe jetting equipment uses water at very high pressure to dislodge and carry away soil. Pumping water at such high pressure requires pumps with close tolerances using high-quality potable water. Vacu-U-Digga propose to use larger volumes of water at much lower pressure, allowing simple and robust impeller pumps, allowing the use of lower-quality recycled water. Vac-U-Digga propose to recycle the water-soil slurry from pipe jetting by filtering, storing and re-using the water on-site. This would avoid the consumption of 24 kilolitres/day of potable water used by a typical pipe-jetting unit, and is expected to reduce the pumping energy by half (saving 17 litres/day of diesel fuel).

  • Leslie Consulting – $178,800. This project aims to develop a compact “micro-channel reactor” unit that would convert a variety of fuels into hydrogen for direct use in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. This is an enabling technology that would overcome a major barrier to the widespread use of fuel cells and facilitate their wider application for vehicles or electricity generation.

  • Tritium – $158,620. This project aims to extend the motor control technology developed in a previous QSEIF project into a universal power controller suitable for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and renewable energy system. The controller would provide battery charging functions or feed power back into the grid to meet peak demand loads, and would seamlessly transfer power between a renewable energy system or electric vehicle batteries, the grid, and electric motors.

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