Australian Grant and Funding Programs

We'll help navigate and manage the application process and get your project funded

Australian Grant and Funding Programs

What are government grants?

Our government uses grant programs to achieve certain policy objectives such as facilitating access to new markets, improving the productivity and competitiveness of Australian businesses and fostering collaboration between them and the research sector.

Both the Federal and State Governments provide a wide range of grants. Each grant supports a certain type of activity from research and development, end-product commercialisation, to facilities/workforce expansion.

Grants provide anywhere from tens of thousands to several million dollars in funding to help businesses de-risk their projects. Depending on the program, the money can be spent on operational expenses such as hiring people and equipment, as well as covering certain capital investments such as upgrading machinery and facilities.

In all cases, competition for funds is fierce. Even if you have a great project, there is a bureaucracy to be navigated and an application to be crafted. A grant writing expert can help you manage the process and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

 

How do I apply for a grant?
  1. Identify A Grant Program That Matches Your Objectives

Examine the strategic objectives of the governing body that is managing the grant. The Modern Manufacturing Incentive (MMI) and Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF), for example, are grant offerings that are part of the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy. The strategy sets out road maps for the 6 priority areas and details plans for industry and government to strengthen Australia’s manufacturing capability.

It’s important to search for program statistics and previous grant recipients. Research the grants awarded per round, average grant size and grants per sector. You can view the recipients of MMF2 here.

This research will allow you to define the project in a way that is most sympathetic to the program’s objectives. Successful applicants in any program must demonstrate that they offer best value for money for the taxpayer’s dollar – push to show how your project aligns to the grant objectives and benchmark for merit criteria.

  1. Map Out the Cut Off Dates

Grants often have strict deadlines and long assessment processes. There may also be multiple stages to the application process.

Map out the cut-off dates as best as possible before starting the application process to create a bird’s eye approach to the progression required. The timeframes must be carefully managed with your business needs, as in most cases, project costs incurred prior to the confirmation by the governing body, or funding agreement/contract being signed will not be funded.

  1. Get Financials & Records In Order

On a similar note, take time to prepare and review the mandatory attachments to the application such as a business plan, detailed budget, financial statements and market research report. Feedback on applications will generally only be provided where the application is complete and all attachments are included, at least in draft form.

If you are successful, keep in mind you will also need to report on project progress against agreed milestones as per the funding agreement.

  1. Examine Each Merit Criteria & Understand Its Weighting/Score

Using the Accelerating Commercialisation grant as an example, businesses will need to demonstrate ‘Impact of the Grant’ including the ‘need for funding’ before other criteria will be assessed. It’s a fine balancing act to demonstrate this need for funding and at the same time showcase that your business has funding planned from other sources to meet its contribution.

  1. Create A Comprehensive Business Plan

Expect to spend time meeting with program delegates and revising your application based on their feedback. Time should be invested to put in place good business governance processes such as a comprehensive business plan, strong financial reports and detailed budgets. These documents will give your case managers confidence in your business. Use your business plan to show how you will implement the grant successfully in the future for your business.

  1. Seek Professional Advice

Applying for a government grant is a complex, time consuming and highly competitive process. Seek out a professional advisor for help in assessing merit criteria and to ensure you put forward the strongest application possible.

NOAH Connect are grant writing experts and we have an excellent track record. We can help match a potential applicant with the grant program that best suits the needs of the business at a particular point in time and quickly assess eligibility by asking a few simple questions.

 

What are some popular grants? 
At any given time, there are hundreds of grant programs offered by all levels of government. 

A good starting point to view grants currently available for your sector is using the following tools provided by the Australian Government:

Grants and Programs Finder: A guided search to help you find grants, funding and support programs across government.

GrantConnect: Provides centralised publication of forecast and current Australian Government grant opportunities and grants awarded

Some of the major grant programs we work with include:

Accelerating Commercialisation: Up to $1 million matched project funding for commercialising novel products, processes or services

NSW R&D Fund: $1 million co-funded to support SME that are commercialising products to address the health, social or economic impacts of Covid-19

Boosting female founders: Up to $400k matched funding for female founded companies looking to scale and expand

Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI): Between $1 – 10 million matched project funding for adopting new technologies to become competitive in the market and leading to job creation

Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF): Up to $1 million 25% funded  for manufacturing businesses adopting new technologies to become more competitive in the market

 

NOAH Connect grant winners

NOAH Connect has identified, guided, and drafted several successful grant applications for our clients. Some recent winners include:

$450k AC grant for a dairy manufacturer

$1 million MMF grant for a craft brewery

$340k Cyber Security Business Connect grant for an IT managed services firm

$525k Global Linkages grant for a global consortium of food manufacturers and research institutions

$226K Boosting Female Founders grant for a female led formulations’ specialist

 

FAQ
Do I have to be an Australian Entity? 

Yes, eligible entities are typically trading companies incorporated in Australia.

Overseas entities may sometimes be listed as collaborative partners.

Is a grant taxable?

Yes, most of the grants received are assessable income for taxation purposes.

What are the six national priority sectors under the Modern Manufacturing Strategy?
  1. Space
  2. Medical products
  3. Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing
  4. Food & Beverage
  5. Defence
  6. Recycling and Clean Energy

You can access the National Manufacturing Priority road maps here

What type of record keeping will be required?

Most grant programs require, as a minimum, a business plan, project budget, project plan and, for matched funding programs, a letter from your accountant showing you can fund your share of the project.

Some also require:

  1. Shareholder and business structure information
  2. Financial reports
  3. Evidence of market research/market opportunity
  4. Risk analysis
  5. Operational plan
  6. Gantt chart
  7. Letters of Support from third parties. For example, from a potential customer to verify their demand for your product or from a subject matter expert to verify the novelty of the technology you wish to commercialise
Are there other government funding opportunities outside of grants?

Another great program that often gets mistaken for a grant is the R&D Tax Incentive. The R&D tax program rewards businesses that are investing in R&D by offsetting eligible R&D expenditure by up to 43.5%. That is, you get 43.5c back for every dollar incurred on eligible R&D expenditure.

Unlike grants, R&D tax is not competitive. It’s a self-assessment and entitlement program available to Australian companies conducting eligible R&D activities.

 

If you would like to discover more about your eligibility for an upcoming grant opportunity, feel free to connect with our grant writing experts at NOAH Connect.