Sustainability Victoria has announced the 4th round of funding for the Circular Economy Innovation Fund to further sustainable business practices across Victoria.
APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN
The Circular Economy Innovation Fund aims to:
- Build business capability in the circular economy through improved awareness, understanding and skills development.
- Drive circular economy innovation in Victorian businesses via training programs, challenges, incubators or industry action plans.
Projects are expected to enable the Victorian business community to achieve at least 2 of the following outcomes:
- Develop new circular products and services that are regenerative by design.
- Divert waste from landfills and incineration through strategies like reuse, repair and remanufacturing.
- Boost jobs through the direct creation of new roles.
- Expand product lifespans and usability through durability and maintenance.
- Cut greenhouse gas emissions by enabling circular resource flows.
Funding and Match Requirements
The Circular Economy Innovation Fund will provide grants between $50,000 and $400,000. Sustainability Victoria reserves the right to offer partial funding to successful applicants.
Applicants must match the grant on a minimum 1:4 basis through financial or in-kind contributions. For example, a $100,000 grant would require a $25,000 match contribution.
Co-contributions can be made entirely through in-kind services or resources that directly support delivery of the proposed project. This allows applicants to leverage existing tools and staff time as their match component.
Who Can Apply?
The Circular Economy Innovation Fund is open to a wide range of organisations including:
- Victorian businesses (for-profit entities)
- Registered social enterprise
- Charities and not-for-profits
- Industry associations and bodies
- Research institutions
- Cooperative Research Centres
- Rural Research and Development Corporations
- Local governments
- Incorporated community groups
The lead applicant must have an active ABN and have been operating for at least 2 years. They must play a major role in delivering the proposed project.
Collaborative partnerships are encouraged, but partners cannot be related entities. Partners should detail their contributions and responsibilities in a letter of support.
If the applicant is a trust, the trustee must execute the funding agreement and meet eligibility criteria.
Applications are welcome from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. Those not agreeing to the standard grant terms and conditions can propose amendments.
Ineligible applicants include sole traders, individuals, unincorporated groups, and federal agencies.
Projects Eligible for Funding
The Circular Economy Innovation Fund will provide grants for initiatives that build expertise and drive innovation, including:
- Capability building programs to equip businesses with circular economy skills and understanding through training and development.
- Innovation accelerators, incubators and challenges to foster circular thinking and solutions.
- Industry action plans developed collaboratively to transition sectors towards circular business models.
Ideal proposals will showcase how they integrate circular economy principles like eliminating waste, maximising product value, and regenerating natural systems.
Projects should aim to enable at least two outcomes like:
- Developing new circular products, services or business models
- Diverting waste from landfill through strategies like reuse, repair and remanufacturing
- Creating jobs through new roles and opportunities
- Extending product lifespans through durability and maintenance
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from material flows and production
Applicants should demonstrate experience successfully delivering similar initiatives.
Eligible costs directly related to the project can include staffing, venues, consultants, marketing, and data collection.
To receive funding, projects must service Victoria and finish by October 2024. They should drive innovation and build expertise to transition towards a circular economic system.
Ineligible Projects and Costs
The Fund will not support projects already underway prior to grant approval.
Ineligible project types include those focused solely on recycling, waste-to-energy, bioplastics or emissions reductions.
The Fund also cannot cover capital purchases, operating expenses, routine maintenance, regulatory compliance activities, or projects receiving funding elsewhere.
Specific costs like vehicles, catering, travel, and site preparation cannot be funded.
The Innovation Fund is looking to enable forward-thinking initiatives that build expertise in circular systems. Projects centred on incremental improvements or conventional solutions are less likely to receive funding.
Next Steps for Securing Innovation Fund Support
The Circular Economy Innovation Fund presents an exciting opportunity to turn your expertise into impact. But developing a competitive proposal requires time and skill.
Our team at NOAH Connect has a strong track record supporting clients through every step of the government grant application process, helping companies of all sizes and across many sectors. We’re happy to offer a free initial consultation to explore whether this Fund is right for your project.
During our discussion, we can provide insight on topics like:
- The assessment criteria and review process
- Eligibility considerations for your organisation
- Crafting a compelling project plan and budget
- Demonstrating your capability to deliver
- Managing risks and due diligence requirements
With funding applications due by March 31st, 2024, now is the ideal time to start strategising. We’re ready to help position your initiative for success. Reach out today to take the first step on the path to secure grant funding.