Research, Development and Demonstration grants

Research, Development and Demonstration grants help fund research to develop new products made from recycled materials such as glass, plastic, organics, electronic waste, concrete, brick and rubber.

These grants are for businesses or local governments, who can partner with research institutes (mostly universities) to develop and create products that will use large volumes of recycled materials.

The grants aim to:

  • support research into product development and performance of recycled materials
  • support development of new or existing products that use high value recycled materials
  • improve product standards and specifications to include recycled material
  • improve market confidence and demand to use recycled materials and products.

Success stories

Breaking glass and breaking traditions: Innovation in the construction industry

The use of recycled materials in road and civil construction is on the rise, as industry and government look to innovate. Since 2016, we’ve granted the University of Melbourne $215,000 to investigate whether glass can be used to replace some of the essential elements of concrete such as the fine aggregate (normally sand) that bonds it together.

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Duratrack: railway sleepers made from recycled plastic

Duratrack sleepers are railway sleepers made from recycled plastic. They are a game changing product that resulted from a Research, Development and Demonstration funded research project between Integrated Recycling and Monash Institute of Railway Technology.

Every kilometre of installed Duratrack sleepers uses 64 tonnes of plastic waste, which is diverted from landfill. The sleepers have been installed on V/Line, Metro Trains Melbourne and Queensland Rail tracks.

Audio transcript (Word, 23kB)

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Hoppers Crossing footpath made from recycled plastic and glass

In a Victorian first, 200 metres of concrete footpath – made with the equivalent of 199,000 recycled glass and plastic bottles – has been laid at Geddes Park in Hoppers Crossing.

Swinburne University and Polytrade Recycling received a Research, Development and Demonstration grant to support a research project into repurposing flexible plastics and glass fines for use in concrete footpaths.

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Yarra City Council trials glass and food waste recycling

A kerbside waste separation trial for glass and food waste is running in Abbotsford after Yarra City Council and RMIT University received a Research, Development and Demonstration grant.

Specific items that are valuable to the Australian recycling industry – such as glass and food waste – were identified for the trial, ensuring they’ll find a new life as a new product and not end up in landfill or overseas.

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Thinking circular

SV is looking for projects that contribute to Victoria’s transition to a circular economy. This industry-led project was delivered in 2018 and shows how recycled glass bottles can be used in road base – in this instance in Melbourne’s heavily used and critical airport link, the Tullamarine Freeway.

Previously funded projects

For details of projects funded under previous funding rounds view the Projects funded by Research, Development and Demonstration grants page.

Achievements and progress

Key milestone Achievements Timeframes
Priority Recovered Resources grant program

In 2016, seven projects received $600,000 to conduct R&D to develop new markets for recovered glass fines and flexible plastics. Two of the seven projects received additional funding to carry out further laboratory testing and demonstration trials.

Projects completed in 2018
Targeted RD&D grants 

In 2018, three projects received $383,000 to conduct field trials to demonstrate R&D in a real-world application, supporting the path to commercialisation. 

Project must be completed by 2021
RD&D grants – Round 1

Ten projects received $1.5million to conduct R&D and field trials to develop new markets for recovered materials.

Project recipients announced December 2018.
Projects must be completed by 2021
RD&D grants – Round 2

Nine projects received $1.6 million to conduct research and field trials to develop new markets for recovered materials.

Project recipients announced October 2019.

Projects must be completed by 31 May 2021

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Want to know more? Get in touch with:

Grants Support Representative

Sustainability Victoria

1300 363 744