Smart Water Fund

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Smart Water Fund

Up to $1M is available for innovative water management projects.

 

About

The Smart Water Fund is a joint initiative of the Victorian water industry and the Victorian Government. Established in 2002, the Smart Water Fund invests in water industry led research and innovation in urban water management.

 

Open Innovation Stream

For 2012/13 (Round 10), the Smart Water Fund is making available $1 million in funding for commercial businesses, research institutions and consulting firms to support projects which are able to demonstrate innovation and commercial benefit in two focused areas:

  • Resource Recovery, which is able to leverage the existing infrastructure of a water business (e.g. including, but not limited to, water, energy, carbon, green house gas emissions, nutrients, minerals or waste materials)
  • Innovation in asset planning, construction, operation, maintenance and renewal with the potential to enhance industry productivity, service level or reduce costs.

 

Objectives

The Fund has two key objectives:

  1.  To invest in applied research which delivers knowledge, products or solutions that are valuable to the Victorian water utilities and the customers they serve.
  2. To facilitate knowledge transfer and utilisation of the research outcomes to key beneficiaries.

 

Eligible Organisations

The Smart Water Fund Open Innovation Stream is available to any individual, business or professional research body that is equipped with the know-how and capability to undertake the proposed research project. Applicants should consider the following factors:

  • The Smart Water Fund typically requires a minimum 50% contribution towards the project from other funding sources (except in cases where a Victorian water utility is a direct sponsor and a beneficiary).
  • Where a number of entities are involved, they must nominate a lead organisation to be responsible for the direct interaction with the Smart Water Fund.
  • If a project has the potential to impact environmental and public health standards or require approvals from a regulatory body, the applicant will need to demonstrate appropriate credentials in dealing with such entities.
  • While the Smart Water Fund welcomes applications beyond Victorian borders (including international applicants), demonstration of a local Victorian benefit and sponsorship is required.

Funding is open to commercial businesses, research institutions and consulting firms for projects which are able to demonstrate benefits to the Smart Water Fund Joint Venture partners. More specifically, the Fund will seek applications in the areas of:

  • Resource Recovery, which is able to leverage the existing infrastructure of a water business (e.g. including, but not limited to, water, energy, carbon, green house gas emissions, nutrients, minerals or waste materials)
  • Innovation in asset planning, construction, operation, maintenance and renewal with the potential to enhance industry productivity, service level or reduce costs.

 

Eligible Projects

The following represents the key eligibility requirements for the Open Innovation Stream in accordance with the Fund’s
new strategic pillars and investment criteria.

  • The project must relate to urban water management. The Smart Water Fund does not have a specific definition of “urban” but as a guide, an area is considered urban if it has a population greater than 1,000 and has a minimum density of 200/km2
  • Projects for rural and agricultural activities are not eligible for funding (except for activities reliant on urban resources and infrastructure)
  • The project is able to demonstrate a strong link to quantifiable return on investment. Examples include: Revenue increase to a Victorian water utility, Cost reduction to a Victorian water utility, Reduction in potable water usage by customers and / or industry, where the reduction would result in delaying, capital expenditure, Impact on customers’ satisfaction or perception of the value delivered by a utility, Environmental or public health impact where urban water plays a central role.
  • The project must demonstrate a level of innovation. Examples include: A new way of solving a problem with a clear value proposition (including technology and solution transfer from a non-water sector), Existing technology which has never been demonstrated in an Australian or Victorian context, Results in new information with strategic value (e.g. can inform public / government policy and water reform), The project must provide development milestones that lead to the provision of a useable outcome(s) (e.g. a product, service or knowledge) and show how the project resourcing will contribute to the achievements on these milestones.
  • The outcome must have wider applicability beyond the needs of the Applicant. The Applicant must be willing to share the information with other potential beneficiaries.
  • The project must address one of the two defined priorities: Resource Recovery, which is able to leverage the existing infrastructure of a water business (e.g. including, but not limited to, water, energy, carbon, green house gas emissions, nutrients, minerals or waste materials), Innovation in asset planning, construction, operation, maintenance and renewal with the potential to enhance industry productivity, service level or reduce costs.

A sponsoring organisation must be a potential customer for the project outcome and commit in principle to using the outcomes should they meet agreed criteria. A sponsoring organisation must be independent and therefore not a direct financial beneficiary (e.g. a technology owner or a controlling shareholder).

 

Funding

Funds available under this program vary from year to year depending on the strategic priorities of the Victorian water utilities and the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The Smart Water Fund generally considers applications in the range of $100,000 –$500,000. The Fund is required to balance the value, risk and benefit timeframe, hence most of the funds are assigned to large programs (>$200,000) which will deliver value within an average of 3 years.

Smart Water Fund Programs which don’t have an immediate commercial value (e.g. long term research or strategic studies) are limited to a maximum of $50,000 per application and there are limited funds available for this type of project.

 

Timeline

Online applications will close at 2:00pm 15th November 2012..

By | 2017-02-09T17:13:03+00:00 November 5th, 2012|Industry & Trusts, New Grant|Comments Off on Smart Water Fund

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