Circular Economy Markets Fund: Materials – Stream 1: Information bulletin

Last updated: 15 September 2022
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Prior to 1 July 2022, this fund was named the Recycling Victoria Markets Acceleration Fund (RVMAF).

Some questions have been re-worded and grouped to benefit as many potential Applicants as possible.

This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.

Information session

An information session for the Recycling Victoria Markets Acceleration Fund – Stream 1 was held online on Monday 9 May 2022. For more information, download the PowerPoint presentation.

Eligibility

Should the end user of the research outcome be a Victorian based Industry Partner? Should all the Project Partners come from Victoria or can Industry Partners come from other states?

The Lead Applicant must have primary operations in Victoria, which means for research-based projects, be a Victorian-based research institute and develop projects to be implemented in Victoria.

The Lead Industry Partner does not have to be primarily based in Victoria but must have some form of operations in Victoria and intend to utilise the research findings in Victoria. For example, if the Lead Industry Partner has distributors operating in Victoria and will be using Victorian materials and will be selling their product into the Victorian market then this would be eligible.

Collaboration with other Research Institutes and Industry Partners is permitted within Victoria and other states, and activities may be conducted in other states if a clear rationale is provided, such as testing services unavailable in Victoria like a Life Cycle Analysis or Environmental Product Declaration.

All applications must demonstrate how their proposed projects will utilise recycled materials sourced from Victoria and contribute to the development of Victorian recycled material end markets.

Can some of the Research and Development (R&D) activities be done offshore and be eligible?

Lead Applicants are required to focus on developing projects to be implemented in Victoria with the majority of activities based in Victoria. Sustainability Victoria (SV) recognises that some projects may not be able to source all the expertise and equipment locally. In these cases, SV will consider funding offshore and/or out of state activities provided they represent a minority proportion of the total scope of the project and a clear rationale is provided.

For example, an R&D project proposing to conduct the majority of its activities in a Victorian based lab, may need to send a product prototype offshore to undergo a performance test if testing equipment is not available in Australia.

Are these grants available to not-for-profit organisations?

Not-for-profit organisations can apply as a Lead Applicant for demonstration and validation projects only, where no lab-based research will be conducted. Not-for-profit organisations are also eligible under the fund as either Industry or Project Partners. Section 2 of the guidelines contains more information on applicant eligibility.

Can a start-up businesses or sole trader be an Industry Partner(s)?

Yes, a start-up business can be an Industry Partner. There is no minimum length of operation for Industry partners. All Industry Partners must have a current Australian Business Number.

SV may conduct due diligence checks on the Industry Partner(s) involved in the delivery of the project. The Applicant must ensure that any Industry Partner(s) agree to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at SV’s request.

SV reserves the right not to award funding to applicants where the due diligence risk, including that of Industry Partner(s), is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.

Sole traders are not eligible for funding as Lead Applicants; however, sole traders can be a Project Partner.

What are eligible materials under this fund?

The Recycling Victoria Markets Acceleration Fund (RVMAF) will prioritise projects that address the materials subject to the national waste export bans: paper and cardboard, plastics, tyres and glass.

Projects proposing solutions to other recycled materials streams are also eligible. These may include, but are not limited to;

  • e-waste materials including lithium-ion batteries, PV panels, e-plastic, etc.
  • textiles including blended, synthetic, natural fibres.

Your product/process can include multiple materials, provided one or more eligible materials are included in the product. If your product contains multiple materials, the assessment panel will look at the percentage of eligible materials used.

All applications need to demonstrate alignment with fund objectives and how the project will support the expansion of end markets for recycled materials.

Materials that are not eligible include:

  • organics or biodegradable waste, including soils
  • biomedical waste or other hazardous wastes.

Are waste to energy projects eligible for funding? How is waste to energy defined for this fund?

Projects conducting research on waste to energy as an end-use are not eligible for funding under the RVMAF. If the intended end-use of the product or process is energy generation then this is considered a waste to energy project.

However, if the project is investigating innovative technology with the potential for non-energy end uses, such as the use of thermal technology and/or a process to improve the quality and/or supply of feedstock into a manufacturing process, then it would be considered eligible. Projects such as these are required to identify the end product that the process would feed into, as well as the end market opportunity.

See Section 9 of the guidelines for a definition of processes and recycled product.

Are projects that have received funding from other sources (e.g. CSIRO) eligible under this fund?

Yes, as long as the proposed activities that the project is seeking funding for have not already been funded under another grant program (SV or other funding institute). If a project has received federal government funding for proof of concept, prototyping and in lab testing for a particular project, the same project would be eligible for RVMAF funding for an in-field demonstration and/or product validation activities. You must detail any other funding sources in your application.

Is all product design considered a 'lab based activity'?

No, not all product design activity will be lab-based. Applicants are asked to provide details on the type of activities they are seeking funding for, including location of activities to be undertaken and the facility type.

Collaboration

Does my organisation need to have a previous working relationship with the Lead Industry Partner to be able to apply for the grant?

No, it is not a requirement for the Lead Applicant and Industry Partner(s) to have had a prior working relationship.

Does SV have a list of Industry Partners available?

No, SV does not have a list of Industry Partners.

Who will own the intellectual property (IP) developed during the project?

The project IP arrangements will be an agreement between the Lead Applicant and Lead Industry and/or Project Partner(s). This arrangement needs to be outlined in the formal Partnership Agreement (e.g. MOU) which would be required as Milestone evidence if the project was successfully funded.

Under SV’s general funding agreement, grant recipients retain ownership of Project IP; however, they grant a broad licence over this IP to SV for use in alignment with our general objectives as outlined in clause 21(d).

For all of SV’s requirements regarding IP please see General Grant Funding Agreement (pdf, 494.8kB) (section 21) or Short Form Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions (section 12)

Project costs

Is the cost to lease property (e.g. for manufacturing) eligible for funding?

Lease or purchase of land is not eligible for funding for this fund.

See Section 2.3 of the guidelines for the project costs that will and won’t be funded.

Can the use of manufacturing and testing equipment in Research and/or Industry Partners be considered as in-kind contribution?

Yes, the use of manufacturing and testing equipment can be included as part of the partner’s in-kind co-contribution, as long as the usage costs can be accurately attributed to the project.

Assessment

Is there a minimum volume of recycled material that assessors will be looking for to justify funding a grant? For example, use at least 100,000kg of tyres or 50,000kg of glass.

No, Applicants are asked to provide estimates on the total volume of recycled materials that would be used if the product and/or process was fully commercialised. This information is used to help assessors evaluate the scope and scale of the recycled material end market opportunity.

Applicants are also asked to provide estimates on the total volume of materials that will be used in delivering the project itself. Volumes will be assessed in the context of what your project is aiming to achieve, and in relation to the material type. If your project is focused on lighter material, such as polystyrene, this will not disadvantage you.

Is there a preference under RV MAF Steam 1, to take projects through to pilot and/or market trial?

While demonstration and in field trial activities are eligible for funding under RVMAF Stream 1, there is no expectation or preference that projects include pilot or demonstration activities. Projects seeking funding for primary research and early product development only would not be disadvantaged. However, it is important that the scope of proposed activities can be delivered within the fund timeline, with projects needing to be completed and acquitted by April 2024.

Who will be undertaking the assessment?

The assessment panel will be comprised of assessors with relevant subject matter and/or technical expertise and experience based on the objectives of the fund.

How many projects usually get funded per round?

There is no set number of applications to be funded through each round of the program. The total program value for RVMAF is $5 million across Streams 1 and 2. Stream 1: Research, Development and Demonstration will award funding between $30,000 – $400,000 per recommended project.

Will SV consider partially funding applicants?

SV endeavours to fund projects at the requested amount. Projects will be assessed on merit against the program’s eligibility and assessment criteria. The request amount and budget submitted with an application form part of this assessment.

Is there an interview conducted with the Applicant before a decision is made?

No, but the assessment panel may request clarifications on the information and/or documentation provided in the application as part of their assessment process.

If I am unsuccessful, will I receive feedback?

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing via email and will be offered a feedback session. Requests for feedback can also be made by email to grants.enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au

Submitting the application

What documents are required from Industry Partners?

Evidence of a formal partnership between the Lead Applicant and Lead Industry Partner is recommended as part of your application, but not mandatory. At a minimum, evidence of the Lead Industry Partner’s commitment to the project is recommended (e.g. a letter of support outlining commitment and contribution to the project).

Applicants are required to provide details on the Lead Industry Partners’ business activities, as well as outlining the skills and experience of the project delivery team, including those of the Industry Party directly involved in the project delivery.

Will late applications be accepted and/or can I get an extension on the submission date?

No, all applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants by 11:59pm Thursday 2 June 2022. Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, at SV’s discretion. Please refer to Terms of Participation in Grants Programs for further information regarding late applications.

What type of insurance is required?

The Lead Industry Partner will be required to provide the relevant insurance prior to a funding agreement commencing. The standard insurances required are Public liability $10M minimum, Professional indemnity $5M minimum and WorkCover. Professional indemnity insurance may not apply to all applicants. If you believe this is may apply to you, please detail this in the application form.

Will my application information be confidential?

Yes, the information contained in your application will be kept strictly confidential. If the project is successfully funded, the project information detailed in the Project Overview section of the application form may be used for promotional purposes (this is outlined in the application form itself), so please ensure the information in this section is not commercial-in-confidence.

Can SV provide feedback on my proposed project?

No, as this is a competitive process, SV is unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project.

We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the objectives of the fund and the assessment criteria.

Can I submit multiple applications for different projects?

Applicants can submit multiple applications; however, each application must be for a different project. An application must not be for multiple projects. Applicants can apply for funding under both streams provided each application is for a different project.

I have already applied for another SV grant and I'm waiting for the outcome. Can I still apply for this fund?

You can apply for multiple funding programs provided your project meets the specific eligibility and assessment criteria. Eligible applications will be assessed using a contested process against the merit criteria in the program’s guidelines.

Each program has different objectives, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria and your application should be specific to the program you are applying for.

If you have submitted an application for another SV funding program, you need to advise this in your application form. SV will not provide funding from more than one grant program for the same project.

What other support does SV have available to applicants?

Please note: the SV teams outlined below cannot provide direct feedback on project applications.

  • The Buy Recycled Service and dedicated teamwork with councils aims to encourage increased use of recycled materials and products in infrastructure, landscaping, parks and gardens. This service is part of Sustainability Victoria’s Recycled First Local Government program. To learn more, visit Buy Recycled Service.
  • SV’s Investment Facilitation Service is a free service that can help you identify opportunities to progress your projects, including market intelligence, potential commercial partnerships, links across government agencies, regulatory requirements and both public and private funding avenues. To learn more, visit Investment Facilitation Service.
  • The Market Bulletin offers market insights by material stream and access material flows (local and overseas markets), commodity prices, any significant changes to local market through to opportunities within the industry and Victoria. The bulletin is produced in partnership with external government and industry experts. Sign up for the Sustainability Victoria Market Bulletin.

If you require detailed information on a particular material stream, for example feedstock availability, please get in touch at Invest@sustainability.vic.gov.au to discuss your enquiry further.

Contact us

Please note we cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the email subject line, use the grant name Recycling Victoria Markets Acceleration Fund Stream 1: Research, Development and Demonstration.