Research, Development and Demonstration Grants – FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Round 2 of Sustainability Victoria's Research, Development and Demonstration grants program, which supports research, development and demonstration projects that can increase the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria. 

1. Who can apply for funding?

To be eligible for Stream 1 - Research, development (R&D) funding applicants must: 

  • be a Victorian based research institute (see Section 5 - Definitions)
    Note: privately-owned research facilities must provide evidence of accreditation (e.g. National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia or similar standard) 
  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have an industry partner
  • have been operating for at least 12 months (lead applicant and any project partners) 
  • have satisfactory environmental, safety and financial performance (see Section 6 – Assessment Criteria)
  • meet the minimum 1:1 matched funding 
  • agree to comply with Sustainability Victoria's (SV)’s Terms and Conditions 
  • agree to comply with SV’s Terms of Participation in Grant Programs. 

To be eligible for Stream 2 — Demonstration (D) funding applicants must: 

  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have been operating for at least 12 months (including all project partners)
  • have operations in Victoria (including all project partners)
  • have satisfactory environmental, safety and financial performance (see Section 6 – Assessment Criteria)
  • meet the minimum 1:1 matched funding (see Section 5 - Definitions) 
  • agree to comply with SV’s Terms and Conditions 
  • agree to comply with SV’s Terms of Participation in Grant Programs

2. What can the grant funds be spent on? 

Sustainability Victoria (SV) grant funding can be spent on salaries, testing, facility hire and procurement of testing materials. 

Funds will not be provided for the purchase of research equipment and/or infrastructure, capital works or project costs not directly related to the use of targeted material (s). 

3. Can a project participant be based outside of Victoria? 

All project partners must have operations in Victoria, meaning having an office or sales staff permanently based in Victoria and have been operating for at least 12 months. 

4. Is there a minimum percentage of financial contribution required by the lead applicant and project partners? 

No, the matched funding needs to meet the minimum of 1:1, there is no minimum percentage requirement from project participants to contribute the required matched funding.

5. Is there a word limit for the questions in grant application? 

No, there is no word limit for each question in the application, however we encourage the responses in the application to be as concise as possible. 

6. Will projects be preferred if the industry partner provides a cash contribution? 

No, applications will not be assessed on this. Applications will be assessed on whether or not the lead applicant and project partners match the requested 1:1 funding, as outlined in the Guidelines, Section 5 – Definitions. 

The matched funding contribution can be from the lead applicant and/or industry partner.

7. Can I pitch my project idea to SV?

No, this being a contested process, we are unable to provide feedback on the potential merit of a project. We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and describe how the project addresses the merit criteria (as outlined in the RD&D Guidelines and Application Form). 

8. Are collaborative approaches encouraged?

For R&D funding collaboration is a criteria requirement. For demonstration projects collaboration is encouraged, for example collaboration between local government and an industry partner, to undertake the project. Collaborative applications will require a lead applicant that will be accountable for implementation of the SV funding agreement.

9. Can a research institute apply for funding without an industry partner?

No. A research institute (refer to definition in Guidelines) must demonstrate a partnership with industry (who has operations in Victoria) to be eligible to apply.

10. Can a lead applicant submit more than one application? 

Yes, an organisation may submit more than one application, however only one funding stream can be applied for per application. 

11. Can the lead applicant use R&D results undertaken in this funding round to support a demonstration application? 

Yes, R&D undertaken in this funding round is eligible to include a demonstration component if project budget and timelines permit. This would be considered Stream 1 – Research and Development.

12. Can more than one research institute partner on an application?

Yes. Multiple research institutes can be part of the research team. However, one research institute will need to be the project lead and submit the application.

13. Can a research institute from outside of Victoria submit an application?

Yes. However, the research institute must have an industry partner who has operations in Victoria. 

14. Can consultants apply?

No. For the purposes of this program consultants that do not fit the definition of a research institute cannot apply see Guidelines, Section 5 – Definitions.

15. What will be funded?

To be eligible for a RD&D grant your project must meet the following criteria:

  • must have a strong alignment with the aims of the RD&D grants
  • must investigate at least one of the following targeted material (s):
  • Electronic waste (e-waste)
  • Glass
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastics (flexible and rigid)
  • must demonstrate the potential to significantly increase market uptake of targeted materials (e.g. designing new products or applications that could consume reliable volumes (tonnes) of targeted materials, pre-engineering of processing technology/infrastructure) 
  • be aligned with circular economy principles 
  • R&D projects must have a partnership with one or more industry partner (s) 
    demonstration projects must use existing R&D and / or credible evidence (for example, published, peer reviewed or otherwise validated work) 
  • source recovered materials from Victoria 
  • project activities must take place in Victoria
  • must meet the minimum 1:1 financial contribution requirement of the fund
    must be completed by 31 May 2021. 

16. How much funding is available?

Between $50,000 to $200,000 (1:1 matched funding) excluding GST to projects that investigate targeted materials. 

17. If a project has already commenced or is completed is it eligible for a grant?

No, requests for retrospective funding will not be provided for projects that are complete or have commenced prior to signing a funding agreement with SV. However, a defined component or next stage of a current, longer term project would be eligible for funding. 

18. How much do I need to contribute to towards the project?

You must contribute 1:1 matched funding for the overall cost of the project, meaning for every $1 requested from SV you must contribute a minimum of $1.

19. What does matched funding mean?

Matched funding is the requirement of the lead applicant to provide a minimum of $1 to match every $1 requested from SV. Matched funding contributions can include:

  • cash and salaries paid by the lead applicant, industry partner and other project participants for employee’s time allocated or directly related to delivering the project 
  • voluntary labour such as unpaid research time
  • donated goods or services such as recovered resources for laboratory testing or a demonstration site
  • additional funding from a project partner e.g. private entities; associations, government, product stewardship organisations.

Note: The matched funding contribution can be from the lead applicant and/or industry partner, there is no minimum percentage requirement from project participants to contribute the required matched funding.

20. What is ineligible for matched funding contributions? 

Ineligible matched funding contributions:

  • operating expenses that are not directly associated with delivering the project
  • opportunity costs such as staff ‘downtime’ during implementation of activities
  • capital works project costs not directly related to the use of recovered resources.

21. Is there a limit to matched funding contributions?

No, you can provide more than $1: $1 financial contribution, this is the minimum requirement. 

22. Can demonstration projects use existing standards or specifications that use targeted materials?

Yes, demonstration projects can trial existing standards or specifications, as well as support the development of new standards and specifications that include recycled content. 

23. What is The Local Jobs First Policy? (LJF)

The Local Jobs First Policy (LJF) seeks to maximise opportunities for Australian, New Zealand and Victorian suppliers (local suppliers) to compete for government business on the basis of best value for money over the life of the goods or services. The LJF is implemented by Victorian Government departments and agencies to help drive local industry development.

24. When does the LJF apply?

The Local Jobs First Policy (LJF) will apply if the total cost of the project meets or exceeds either: 

  • $1 million in regional Victoria/statewide; or
  • $3 million in metropolitan Melbourne.

25. What if the LJF does apply?

SV will register the grant with ICN (Industry Capability Network). The grant recipient will then be required to comply with the requirements of the LJF, including preparing a LJF Plan and providing annual project reports.

26. When will funding applications be assessed?

Applications will be assessed after the closing date against the weighted criteria. The time between receipt, assessment and decision will be subject to a variety of factors including the number and quality of applications received. Applicants will be updated about the status of their application as soon as possible.

27. When will I know the outcome of my application?  

SV will provide applicants with updates about the progress of their applications as much as possible, but is unable to provide a definite approval/announcement date. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding on this and will endeavour to advise you if we experience any unforeseen delays.

With this in mind, it is worth thinking about whether your project needs to be undertaken at a set time.  Please be as flexible as possible with your timelines so that they will not be affected by any changes in circumstances (e.g. if people leave your organisation), or we receive a higher than expected number of applications and additional assessment and approval time is required.

28. Can SV review a draft of my grant application?

No, this being a contested process, we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project.

29. If I am successful, what happens next? 

If you are offered a grant, the next step is to enter into a contract with SV. The contract is prepared by SV, following the announcement of successful applicants. The contract is tailored to the project the lead applicant will undertake, with payments attached to milestones relevant to the project. Please refer to the sample SV contract that accompanies this document. 

30. How long is the project time frame?

Approved projects must be completed by 31 May 2021. 

31. Who can I contact for assistance or further information? 

Please email grants.enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au or phone 1300 363 744 and ask to speak to a grants representative.