Guidelines for the Circular Economy Research and Development Fund enabling research institutes to partner with industry to research and develop new uses for recycled priority materials.
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This grant closed on 19 April 2021. View the fund recipients.
Sustainability Victoria (SV) will fund research institutes to partner with industry to undertake research to develop new uses for recycled priority materials. The purpose of the Research and Development (R&D) Fund – Materials is to accelerate markets for recycled priority materials by developing innovative products and processes that will increase confidence and demand for recycled products in Victoria.
SV is offering grants between $75,000 and $300,000 ($1: $1 co-contribution) for research that is innovative, sustainable and supports Victoria’s transition to a circular economy.
The R&D fund supports Research Institutes (Lead Applicant) and Industry Partner(s) to:
Timeline – Round 1
Open date – 22 February 2021
Closing date – 3:00 pm, 19 April 2021
Outcome notification – within 90 days from closing date
Please note: times are indicative only and may change.
Applications must be submitted by 3:00 pm on the closing date.
Late applications will not be accepted unless exceptional circumstances apply.
SV Funding agreements must be signed within 30 days of notification of outcome.
Approved projects must be able to be completed within two years of signing the SV funding agreement.
We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
The grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.
For the Research and Development Fund – Materials, recycled priority materials include:
SV will fund projects that increase the use of one or more recycled priority materials through development of new domestic end markets. These materials are prioritised under this Fund as the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed to ban the export of these materials. These materials have specific supply side and/ or demand side barriers that could be overcome with the support of government.
Read more about the implementation of the waste export ban.
For more on recycled priority materials, see Section 10: Definitions.
Recycling Victoria: A new economy is the Victorian Government’s 10-year policy and action plan that will transform Victoria’s waste and recycling system and strengthen the circular economy.
The policy will drive investment in world-class infrastructure and technology, create cutting-edge local industries and support the creation of thousands of new jobs.
It will also assist businesses to generate less waste through:
To support this transformation there needs to be strong markets for recycled materials collected and recovered.
SV is leading the delivery of the Markets Acceleration Program (MAP) to increase demand for recycled materials across the economy by supporting the development of innovative products and processes that will transform sectors such as manufacturing and construction in Victoria.
MAP contributes to the goals set out in the Recycling Victoria Policy by investing in research, industry capability uplift and market development activities; to increase Victoria’s capacity to produce and supply recycled materials for re-use domestically, whilst simultaneously working to improve end user confidence in recycled products.
Common barriers that restrict the uptake of recycled materials, include:
This Fund aims to overcome some of these barriers by:
Applicants must meet all the following compliance criteria to be considered for progression to eligibility. These will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.
To be eligible for funding applicants must:
The amount requested from SV can be between a minimum $75,000 and up to a maximum $300,000 excluding GST.
A financial co-contribution will be sought at a ratio of $1: $1.
Minimum 20% of the co-contribution must be provided by the Lead Industry Partner.
The remaining 80% of the co-contribution can be split as required, between the Lead Applicant and Industry Partner(s).
You must identify and declare any funding from other government sources, for example Australian Research Council (ARC) or Cooperative Research Centre’s (CRC) used towards your co-contribution.
SV funding can be used for the following project costs:
Funding will not be provided for:
Weighted merit criteria
Eligible applications will be assessed using a contested process against the following merit criteria:
Describe what you are going to do and how the project aligns with one or more objectives of the grant program:
The Lead Applicant and its Industry Partner(s) have the ability to deliver the project including capability (skills) and capacity (resources)
Describe why the project is needed and how it will improve market confidence and demand for recycled priority materials.
Demonstrate how the project is commercial, feasible and capable of being delivered.
SV may adjust rankings to achieve an overall diversity of:
A risk-based approach will be used to assess the applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks to the recommendation of funding. This assessment will include the applicant’s Related Entities (if applicable) and will include the Lead Industry Partner.
Applicants and their Related Entities (if applicable) and their Lead Industry Partner should:
Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to SV’s consideration of:
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.
Successful applicants approved for funding must:
Please note: these timelines are indicative only and may change.
Applicants should review and follow these steps:
We have responded to specific questions not addressed on this page or in the guidelines. The list of responses will be updated as required.
Read our responses
An information session is available for interested parties. The session will be held online.
Register via Eventbrite
A recording will be made available after the session for those unable to attend.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with Research and Development Fund – Materials in the subject line.Alternatively, read our Research and Development Fund – Materials – Information Bulletin and updates.
Defined terms used in this guideline.
Recycled priority materials are those that are scheduled to be banned for export and require the support of government in developing new domestic end market solutions.
For the Research and Development Fund – Materials, recycled priority materials are listed below.
Glass: Glass includes the following categories:
Paper and cardboard: Post-consumer kerbside and/or commercial mix of fibre-based packaging and non-packaging papers made from wood. Includes materials such as magazine, newspaper, printing and writing paper, corrugated cardboard and other fibre-based formats. Materials from recovered paper and cardboard are typically reused to manufacture recycled paper, packaging material and boxes.
Plastics (flexible and rigid): Plastic products can be broadly grouped as either flexible or rigid. The major plastic polymer types are identified by a Plastics Identification Code number from 1 to 7.
Tyres: Rubber (predominantly tyres) are a manufactured product and vary in composition depending on manufacturer and tyre type. There are three main tyres used for vehicles – passenger (cars, motorcycles and caravans), truck (light and heavy vehicles, buses) and off-the-road (agricultural, mining, construction and demolition). Most tyres contain approximately one-half rubber, one-fifth carbon black and one-fifth steel, with minor proportions of textiles and other additives.
Circular economy: The Recycling Victoria policy defines circular economy as:
“A circular economy continually seeks to reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption, while enabling economic growth through more productive use of natural resources.
It allows us to avoid waste with good design and effective recovery of materials that can be reused.
It promotes more efficient business models that encourage intense and efficient product use, such as sharing products between multiple users, or supplying a product as a service that includes maintenance, repair and disposal.
The value people obtain from the resources used to create goods and services increases.
It transforms our linear economy mindset—take, use and throw away—and fosters innovation and productivity that invigorates existing businesses and creates new ones, delivering more jobs and more growth for local, regional, state and global economies.”
Co-contribution: The applicant’s required cash or in-kind contribution to the total project income. Co-contributions can include both in-kind and financial (cash).
In-kind contribution: An in-kind contribution is a contribution of a good or a service other than money. These goods and services are valued at their fair market value.
In-kind co-contributions may include:
Financial (cash) co-contributions may include:
Ineligible co-contributions include:
Commercialisation: The process through which R&D is transformed into marketable products, capital gains, income from licences and/or revenue from the sale of new product or processing approach.
Defined component: A defined component is a research ‘need’ that has been identified through delivering a funded research project and was not originally included in the project scope.
Environmental, safety or workplace breach: An environmental or safety breach is any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or Fair Work or failure to comply with any environmental, safety and workplace laws.
Environmental and safety laws: Environmental and safety laws are the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 1970 or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, or any other aspect of protection of the environment.
Industry partner: Is any organisation listed below operating in or representing manufacturers seeking to use recycled priority materials in a product or a process including through the development of specifications and standards.
An Industry Partner is any organisation assisting in the delivery of the Lead Applicant’s research project. There is no requirement for any minimum length of operation for Industry Partners. All Industry Partners must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN).
Industry Partners who are not listed as the Lead Industry Partner do not need to have operations in Victoria.
For this program a small to medium enterprise is an organisation that employees under 200 employees and a large enterprise is an organisation that employees over 200.
Lead industry partner: If the project has more than one Industry Partner, the Lead Applicant must nominate a Lead Industry Partner. The Lead Industry Partner, can be defined as above under ‘Industry Partner.’ The nominated Lead Industry Partner must contribute a minimum of 20% of the co-contribution for the research project and provide evidence of partnership (i.e. MoU or similar agreement). For any additional Industry Partner(s) evidence of partnership is required such as a letter of support. The Lead Industry Partner must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN) and have operations in Victoria. There is no requirement for any minimum length of operation for Lead Industry Partners.
Lead applicant: Must be a research institute, (refer to definition of research institute) and will be responsible for the contractual obligations of the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding. The Lead Applicant must have at least one Industry Partner and is responsible for managing the project outcomes and deliverables of any formal agreements with its Industry Partner(s). The Lead Applicant must have been operating for at least 2 years at the time of the application closing date.
Operations in Victoria: To be eligible to apply for funding the Lead Applicant and its Lead Industry Partner must have an office or sales staff permanently based in Victoria.
Pre-consumer: Recycled materials (diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process).
Post-consumer: Recycled materials (after use by households, business or industrial facilities).
Process: Includes investigating the feasibility of an innovative process that increases the use of recycled priority materials. This can include a series of operations or steps to change a recovered material or reprocessing system such as melting, extruding or crushing to enable the material to be used in the manufacture of a new product. It does not include separation, collection or sorting equipment or infrastructure.
Prototype: A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product developed to test a concept or process.
Related entities: Entities which are related to the applicant and includes:
Related persons: Related person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the applicant or a Related entity.
Recycled content: Waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed and recycled in the creation of a new product. Waste materials include those:
Recycled product: Any product that incorporates a percentage of waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed and recycled (see Recycled content).
Research and Development (R&D): R&D activity is generally considered to be characterised by originality. The primary objective is investigation with the outcome being new knowledge with a specific practical application, or new or improved materials, products, or processes. R&D ends when work is no longer primarily investigative.
For this Fund, the following R&D activities related to the recycled priority materials include:
Research institute (Lead applicant): An organisation that can carry out R&D activities as defined in the R&D definition above. A research institute can be a tertiary education institution, a government agency established for the purpose of research, a Cooperative Research Centre, an Institute or Centre for Research or a privately owned and accredited research facility, that is based in Victoria. Consultancies are not considered to be research institutes for the purposes of this grant program.
Workplace laws: Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009, or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the provision of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions for all persons and to prevent discrimination against employees.