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The Circular Economy Business Innovation and Business Support funds are Now Open



The Victorian Government has announced the opening of two new funds to support businesses in transitioning to a circular economy. The Circular Economy Business Support Fund and the Circular Economy Innovation Fund will provide grants to businesses and collaborative partnerships working on circular economy solutions.


The Circular Economy Business Support Fund is designed to increase the efficiency and uptake of circular economy market solutions, with a focus on identifying, commercialising, and scaling solutions. Projects that prioritise developing circular design capabilities within industry are also eligible for funding. Grants between $50,000 to $1 million are available for projects. Both collaborative and individual projects are eligible to apply.


The Circular Economy Innovation Fund is aimed at research and development projects that are designed to stimulate innovative and new circular economy market solutions. Projects must be delivered in a collaborative partnership. The fund will provide grants between $50,000 to $400,000.


Both funds are part of the Victorian Government's commitment to driving the transition to a circular economy and reducing waste across the state. The Circular Economy Business Support Fund and the Circular Economy Innovation Fund are key parts of this effort, and the government encourages businesses and collaborative partnerships to take advantage of these opportunities to support their circular economy solutions


Applications close: Wednesday 12 April 2023



The Circular Economy Business Support Fund


This fund is designed to increase the efficiency and uptake of circular economy market solutions and is open to both collaborative and individual projects.


It focuses on identifying, commercialising, and scaling solutions. Projects that prioritise developing circular design capabilities within industry are also eligible.


Total funding available: Each project can receive a grant between $50,000 and $1,000,000 (ex GST).

Co-contribution: $1:$2. Co-contributions can be either financial (cash) or In-kind. At least 80% of the Co-contribution must be cash contribution


Fund outcomes

Projects must contribute to 2 or more of the following outcomes:

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

· Creation of new circular products and services.

· Increase employment through the direct creation of jobs

· Increase capacity to extend the useable life of products

· Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

· Improve the capacity of industry for acting on sustainability.


Lead Applicants must:


  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN). If the Applicant is a Trust, the Trustee - as the proper Applicant - must meet this requirement

  • have been operating for a minimum of 2 years by the application closing date (to be validated by the date that the organisation’s ABN is active from). If the Applicant is a Trust, the Trustee - as the proper Applicant - must meet this requirement

  • be able to demonstrate financial viability to undertake the project (will meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements)

  • agree to comply with the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs

  • agree to comply with the General grant funding agreement terms and conditions

  • submit their Fair Jobs Code Pre-Assessment Certificate Number with their application if applying for $500,000 or more (exclusive of GST). A Certificate must be held prior to applying for the grant.


What will be funded

Projects focused on identifying, implementing, commercialising or scaling circular market solutions that prevent, minimise or eliminate waste and pollution, or keep products and/or materials at their highest use. Eligible projects are also those that are focused on building capabilities and capacity within industry to apply circular design to achieve the above.


Projects must improve the environmental outcomes of products, services, industries, supply chains or systems and contribute to Victoria’s transition to a Circular Economy. All projects must:

  • meet all regulatory or planning requirements within 6 months of receiving funding

  • ensure at least 50% of project activities are implemented in Victoria

  • be completed by 15 December 2024.


Project types include:

  • identification and development

  • implementation, commercialisation and scaling

  • training and development programs for the industry.


Project activities can include (but not limited to):

  • activation of waste-avoidance solutions in published industry/business-focused action plans and roadmaps

  • baseline studies to understand issues and opportunities for circularity (e.g., in businesses or industries)

  • waste audits and Circular economy supply chain mapping

  • challenge-based projects (e.g., hackathons)

  • developing, delivering or accessing Circular economy assessment tools or services (e.g., life cycle assessment)

  • developing, delivering or accessing Circular economy advisory services

  • delivering a campaign focused on increasing transparency and awareness of Circular economy in businesses

  • facilitate networking and collaboration focused on Circular Economy business opportunities

  • establishing or expanding activities in a Circular economy business focused group or cluster

  • delivering Circular economy training to Businesses

  • rolling out business-led product stewardship initiatives/programs in Victoria (not Recycling)

  • financial and non-financial assessments (e.g., CBA, ROI, SROI)

  • large scale pilots, trials, and demonstrations

  • business case development and cost-benefit analysis

  • purchasing, installing and commissioning infrastructure, plant and equipment or other assets

  • designing and delivering promotional content for new products and services

  • developing and delivering capability building for Businesses (e.g., training, education, innovation services)

  • startup incubators and accelerator programs

  • developing and launching a website, application, or digital platform.


Project costs must be directly related to the project and can only include:

  • new or existing staff costs (such as salaries) that are demonstrated to be directly related to the project

  • consultants

  • contractor services

  • marketing, advertising, promotion

  • market research and surveys

  • venue and equipment hire (including access to innovation labs and services)

  • legal costs (such as costs to obtain IP)

  • printing

  • design and copywriting

  • installation and commissioning

  • freight

  • project management costs

  • capital purchases/assets (infrastructure, plant, and equipment)

  • purchase of specialised vehicles (e.g., front-end loaders, forklifts) where equipment is integral for the project to occur, and the Applicant demonstrates they are unable to proceed with the project without funding for the vehicle.




Circular Economy Innovation Fund


This funding is for research and development projects that are designed to stimulate innovative and new circular economy market solutions. Projects must be delivered in a collaborative partnership.


The fund will provide grants between $50,000 to $400,000.


Applications close on 12 April 2023.


These projects prevent, minimise or eliminate waste and pollution and keep products and materials in use – at the highest value – for longer.


The projects must be:

  • delivered by a Collaborative Partnership

  • innovative (have never been done in Victoria before).


Projects must improve the environmental outcomes of products, services, industries, supply chains or systems and contribute to Victoria’s transition to a Circular Economy.


Co-contribution: $1:$2. Co-contributions can be either financial (cash) or In-kind. At least 10% of the Co-contribution must be cash contribution.


Collaborative Partner(s) (mandatory)

The Lead Applicant must have at least one Collaborative Partner who is a:

  • Research Institution

  • Business (Commercial for-profit and Social Enterprises)

  • Charity or other Not-for-profit

  • Industry groups or Association

  • Government or local government organisation

  • Community organisation or group.


What will be funded

Projects must be collaborative and explore an innovative market solution that aims to improve the environmental outcomes of products, services, industries, supply chains or systems and contribute to Victoria’s transition to a Circular Economy.


Projects must represent the research and development of an Innovation for Victoria – that it haot been done within Victoria previously.


Projects should demonstrate Circular Economy design solutions/ strategies to eliminate or minimise waste and pollution and/or keep products/ materials in use at their highest value for longer.

Examples of circular design solutions/ strategies that may be explored in projects include but are not limited to:

  • Design for dematerialisation, minimise inputs, waste avoidance

  • Design for durability, reuse, refill, sharing and resell

  • Design for maintenance, repair, upgradability

  • Design for Refurbishment, remanufacturing, disassembly/ reassembly

Projects must contribute to two or more of the following outcomes:

  • Creation of new Circular Products and Services

  • Avoidance of waste materials to any waste or Recycling destination

  • Increase employment through the direct creation on of jobs.

  • Increase capacity to extend the useable life of products

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

All projects must also:

  • meet all regulatory or planning requirements within 6 months of signing funding agreement

  • ensure at least 50% of project activities are implemented in Victoria

  • be completed by 15 December 2024.

Project types:

  • Research and development

Project activities can include:

  • research and feasibility studies

  • case studies and business case development

  • ideation or concept generation

  • design and development of product, service, process and/or systems

  • prototyping and testing

  • experimental proof of concept

  • small-scale, trials, and demonstrations.

The following project costs are eligible for funding:

  • new or existing staff costs (such as salaries) that are demonstrated to be directly related to the project

  • procurement of materials and services supporting research and development

  • product testing and validation to ensure environmental and human health performance.

  • external consultancy or contract costs

  • project management costs (this can be internal or external). If internal must be directly related to the project.

  • capital costs (e.g., purchase or lease of infrastructure or equipment)

  • project evaluation

  • development of educational material that shares learnings and can be made publicly available.

  • purchase of specialised vehicles (e.g., front-end loaders, forklifts) where equipment is integral for the project to occur, and the Applicant demonstrates they are unable to proceed with the project without funding for the vehicle.


 

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.

 





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