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  • Writer's pictureHaines Consulting Group

Circular Economy Innovation Fund Round 4 – Capability Building

Updated: May 5

Haines Consulting Group: Circular Economy Innovation Fund Round 4 – Capability Building

The Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC) has announced the launch of the Circular Economy Innovation Fund Round 4: Capability Building. This initiative aims to support Victorian businesses and organizations in developing skills and solutions for a more sustainable future.

With a focus on innovation and sustainability, the fund encourages applicants to propose projects that demonstrate potential for circular economy principles, driving waste reduction and improving resource efficiency. Successful applicants will receive financial support to help build their capabilities in creating more sustainable, efficient, and economically viable business practices.

Sustainability Victoria (SV) is supporting Businesses and Collaborative Partnerships through Round 4 of the Circular Economy Innovation Fund to build business capability in the circular economy.

Projects must improve awareness and understanding of the circular economy and enhance circular economy business innovation in Victoria.

The fund aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Provide businesses with improved awareness/understanding of the circular economy.

  • Enhance circular economy business innovation in Victoria through the delivery of training, programs or an action plan.

The projects must aim to enable the Victorian business community to achieve at least 2 of the following outcomes:

  • Creation of new circular products and services.

  • Avoidance of waste materials to any waste or recycling destination.

  • Increase employment through direct creation of jobs.

  • Increase capacity to extend the useable life of products.

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Applications close:

11:59 pm on Sunday 31 March 2024 or prior if funds are fully allocated. Applications will be assessed as soon as they are submitted. Late applications will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances.

Funding available:

Grants of $50,000 to $400,000 are available. SV reserves the right to offer successful Applicants with partial funding.


  • Applicants must contribute at least $1 for every $4 funded.

  • Co-contributions can be either financial (cash) or in-kind. Up to 100% of the co-contribution can be in-kind.

Who can apply

  • Businesses (Commercial for-profit)

  • Social enterprises (must be currently registered with Social Traders or prove accreditation before entering into a funding agreement)

  • Charities and other not-for-profits

  • Industry groups and associations (an industry group or association, also known as an industry trade association, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry) Note:

For projects that involve development of a collaborative action plan, the Lead Applicant must be an Industry group or association.

  • Research institutions

  • Current Cooperative Research Centres

  • Current Rural Research and Development Corporations

  • Government or local government organisations

  • Community organisations and groups that are fully incorporated.

Note: If the Applicant is a Trust, the Funding Agreement must be executed by the Trustee of the Trust for example XYZ Pty Ltd as The Trustee for the XYZ Trust. The Trust as the trading entity must meet all the eligibility requirements of the fund (eg ABN).

Lead Applicants must have:

  • a direct, clear role and demonstrated contribution (in-kind and/or financial contribution) that is significant to the delivery of the project

  • an active ABN of 2 years standing at the date of close of the applications.

Collaborative Partners:

Projects may include Collaborative Partners.

Where a Collaborative Partnership is proposed in the application, the Lead Applicant will lead the Collaborative Partnership and be accountable for project delivery and management. The Collaborative Partner must not be a Related Entity. Only the Lead Applicant will receive grant funding. Any allocations of grant funding or financial co-contributions between Collaborative Partners and Delivery Partners must be managed by the Lead Applicant.

Collaborative Partners must have:

  • an active ABN

  • a direct, clear role and demonstrated contribution (in-kind and/or financial contribution) that is important to the delivery of the project.

A letter of support (or equivalent) must be provided by the Collaborative Partner, signed by an authorised representative and must be provided with the application, detailing their:

  • commitment to be publicly announced as a Project Partner should funding be awarded

  • financial and/or in-kind contribution to the project

  • their role and responsibilities to the project

The Collaborative Partnership must be formalised through an agreement (MoU or equivalent) prior to the first milestone payment for successful projects.

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Applicants who do not agree with the Grant Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions will be asked to provide full details of proposed amendments that would render the contractual provision acceptable to the Applicant in the SmartyGrants application form. Applicants should note that significant or substantive variations will not be viewed favourably unless the Applicant is able to demonstrate the necessity for such variations. Should applicants be successful, no further amendments to SV’s standard terms and conditions will be considered beyond the variations included in the application form.

Lead Applicants cannot be:

  • Unincorporated associations

  • Federal government organisations, excluding Rural Research and Development Councils

  • Sole Traders or Individuals.

What will be funded

SV funding is available for projects that focus on improving awareness and understanding of circular economy and enhancing circular economy business innovation in Victoria, through:

  • delivery of a capability building training / skills development program for businesses and entrepreneurs

  • delivery of a challenge, incubator or accelerator program for businesses and entrepreneurs

  • developing a collaborative action plan by an industry association for transition to a circular economy covering a specified industry sector or supply-chain.

Projects must incorporate at least one of the 3 principles of the circular economy that are driven by design:

  • Eliminate waste and pollution.

  • Keep products and materials in use, at their highest value.

  • Regenerate natural systems.

Projects must also aim to enable the Victorian business community to achieve at least 2 of the following outcomes:

  • Creation of new Circular Products and Services.

  • Avoidance of waste materials to any waste or Recycling destination.

  • Increase employment through direct creation of jobs.

  • Increase capacity to extend the useable life of products.

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Applicants must demonstrate a proven track-record of successful delivery of the type of project they are proposing for funding.

Applicants must demonstrate that project costs are directly related to the project and can include:

  • new staff costs (such as salaries)

  • existing staff costs (such as salaries)

  • venue hire

  • consultancy costs/project management costs

  • marketing, advertising, promotional costs

  • data collection and evaluation.

Other types of costs may be considered to be funded at the discretion of SV, if demonstrated in the grant application to be directly associated with the project and not specifically excluded below.

Projects must also:

  • be located in and service Victoria

  • meet regulatory or planning requirements

  • be completed by 31 October 2024.

What will not be funded

SV will not fund projects that have commenced before the Applicant is notified by SV in writing that their grant application has been successful. Note: if Applicants fail to execute a Funding Agreement, their eligible costs will not be reimbursed. 

Funding will not be provided for projects that are primarily focused on:

  • recycling or recycled materials and content

  • waste-to-energy, bioenergy and bioenergy fuels (including anaerobic digestion)

  • litter, microplastics and illegal dumping

  • bioplastics, biodegradable plastics, or compostable plastics

  • aggregates and soils

  • energy, emissions, or water (although these may be co-benefits of projects)

  • product stewardship schemes focused on recycling.

Project types

  • Projects that are being undertaken in order to comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order.

  • Projects that have received funding or support for the same activities from other sources.

  • Projects that do not meet regulatory or planning requirements.

Project costs

  • Capital purchases (e.g. infrastructure or equipment).

  • Lease or purchase of land.

  • Permit, licensing, approval costs.

  • Routine or cyclical maintenance works.

  • Repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters where damage should be covered by insurance.

  • Operating costs (e.g. electricity, water and other utilities).

  • Purchase of vehicles (e.g. front-end loaders, forklifts).

  • Pre-construction (site preparation) such as site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works.

  • Leasing of equipment.

  • Contingency costs.

  • Fuel costs.

  • Catering.

  • Travel and accommodation expenses.


Haines Consulting Group is a management consultancy firm specialising in business strategy, growth, government grants and new venture developments. If you need any assistance with a grant submission please contact us now for a confidential conversation.


Source: Circular Economy Innovation Fund: Round 4 – Capability Building | CEBIC

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