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NSW Climate and Energy Action

Research, development and commercialisation infrastructure grants FAQs

We recommend you review these frequently asked questions (FAQs) when developing your grant application. If your questions are not addressed in the FAQs, please contact us at NetZeroIndustry@environment.nsw.gov.au

About the grants

How is infrastructure defined in this grants program? 

Infrastructure is broadly defined under these grants as new or improved assets, facilities or services which support the acceleration of research, development and commercialisation of innovative clean technologies and business models in NSW. 

What types of infrastructure are eligible? 

The 4 types of infrastructure eligible for these grants are:  

  • new or upgraded major innovation infrastructure – including testing and demonstration facilities, laboratories and technological workshops  
  • e-infrastructure to generate data – such as computing systems, facilities and software for the support of research and innovation. This type of infrastructure may enable computer testing, simulation and data analysis, as well as sharing of information with the research community through cloud technology 
  • physical infrastructure to store data – including the storage of scientific data through physical databases and archives 
  • other infrastructure that supports significant decarbonisation – other types of infrastructure that do not fall within technology types above but support the decarbonisation of high-emitting and hard-to-abate sectors in NSW.  
What are the decarbonisation priorities of these grants? 

Funding will support the development of research, development and commercialisation infrastructure that supports the next wave of low emissions technologies. Priority areas are guided by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer’s NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Study and include: 

  • electrification and energy systems – accelerating renewable energy solutions and supporting the uptake of electrification in other sectors 
  • land and primary industries – coordinating and aligning efforts in the next wave of sustainable primary industry practices     
  • power fuels including hydrogen – growing an environmentally sustainable NSW power fuels industry. 

These grants will prioritise investments in these three areas where potential for scale-up and commercialisation is high. You are strongly encouraged to review the NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Study to ensure your project aligns with the identified decarbonisation priority areas. 

We recognise that clean technology innovations are constantly emerging. The grant initiative has flexibility to allow for projects that fall outside these priority areas but they must demonstrate outstanding merit. 

Will online information sessions be held?   

An online information session was held on 18 March 2022 to provide further information about the grants. A recording of the session is available online.

When would a project be expected to commence?

As we are funding new and upgraded facilities, successful projects are expected to commence no later than 3 months after the funding agreement has been executed. Research infrastructure can already be operating at the time of application.

What is the expected project duration? 

As these projects will take some time to establish, the duration of each project is dependent on the complexity. However, all grant-funded elements of the project must be completed by 30 June 2028. 
It is expected that the infrastructure will continue to operate beyond the grant period. 

Eligibility

What projects are eligible for funding? 

Projects are generally eligible for funding if they: 

  • align with the clean technology innovation’s infrastructure priorities areas 
  • fall within Technology Readiness Levels 6-9 and /or a Commercial Readiness Levels 2-3 (for more information see Appendix 1 of the guidelines
  • are based in NSW  
  • can demonstrate a minimum 1:1 matched funding co-contribution  
  • can demonstrate the project would not proceed without NSW Government funding 

For further information about eligibility, please read the guidelines

Are collaborative projects between entities encouraged? 

Yes. Promoting collaboration is a key objective of these grants, so we welcome applications with multi-disciplinary expertise and financial co-contributions. You should showcase the strength of your project’s collaboration as part of your application.  

Does the infrastructure need to be accessible beyond project partners?

Yes. In order to support clean tech research and innovation across the state, any funding provided to support infrastructure should be accessible to a wide range of stakeholders.
The details regarding accessibility will be agreed on a case-by-case basis during the full application stage.

Am I eligible if I’ve already received other Australian Government grants?  

You are welcome to submit applications that have also accessed other government funding. You must clearly demonstrate that your application would not proceed without funding through this grant.  

My project is not located in NSW. Does this mean I’m not eligible? 

Projects must be located and delivered within NSW to be eligible for this grant. 

Can international organisations apply for these grants? 

This grant is only available for organisations registered in Australia with an ABN. 

How is clean technology defined for the purposes of this grant? 

The guidelines define clean technologies as those that substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including low emission technologies. Technologies refers to processes, products and services including hardware, software and business model innovations.

What do I do if I am not sure my project is eligible or falls into the 'Other Infrastructure' category? 

If in doubt about your project and its eligibility, please contact the team with a description of your project at netzeroindustry@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Do the contractors used in the grant funded project need to be from NSW?

We recognise that expertise needed for your project, such as contractors, may not be available within NSW or Australia. This is fine, if the project is delivering benefit to NSW. For example, the end product resides in NSW to create technological, economic, social and/or environmental benefits.

Does the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and Commercial Readiness Index (CRI) eligibility criteria refer to the enabling infrastructure or the clean technology innovations it will support?

The TRL and CRI eligibility criteria refer to the clean technologies that will be supported by the infrastructure. 
These grants will support the development of enabling infrastructure that supports the advancement of clean technologies at the TRL 6-9 and/or a CRI 2-3. 

Applying for a grant

What is the application process for a grant? 

This application includes a two-stage competitive process including an initial expression of interest (EOI) followed by a full application. If your EOI is successful you will be invited to the full application stage. Applicants who are successful at the full application stage will enter into a funding agreement with the Office of Energy and Climate Change.  

Section 6 of the guidelines provides more details on the application process. 

Is there any limit on the number of EOI’s that can be submitted? 

Yes, there is a limit of three EOIs from each lead applicant. 

How much detail is required for the EOI application? 

At this stage of the application process, we expect applicants to provide an overview of their proposed project and fill out all necessary fields in the online application form.

If your EOI application successfully progresses to full application, a more detailed evidence-based submission will be required. 

Who will assess the application? 

An assessment committee will assess the applications based on the merit criteria outlined in the grant guidelines. All EOIs and full applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.  

How do I know if my project has progressed to the full application stage? 

After assessing all EOI applications, we will notify all applicants on the outcomes of their application by mid-2022. 

If my application is unsuccessful can I seek feedback?  

Yes, if you are unsuccessful, we will advise you in writing and provide an opportunity to receive feedback on your application. EOI and full application outcomes cannot be appealed. 

Funding

What is the total funding available and what is the maximum grant amount? 

This is a $45 million grant initiative. The minimum amount for a single grant is $1 million and the maximum amount is $10 million (regardless of the number of partners collaborating with the lead applicant).  

What is the average funding amount expected for individual projects? 

The funding amount for each project will depend on the size and scope of the project.  

Can previous contributions (cash or in-kind) be considered as part of an application’s co-contributions? 

No. Only new contributions will be considered. 

Can the co-contribution be all in-kind? 

Co-contribution cannot be all in-kind, it must include a cash component. Higher cash contributions will be considered favourably. 

Can applicants use revenue to meet their co-contribution requirements?

Grants will only be awarded to applicants that can confirm committed co-contributions by the time they submit their full application.

Applicants that propose meeting their co-contribution requirements by using future revenue streams must provide strong evidence that those revenue streams will be available. For example, sharing an existing customer contract.

We will consider co-contributions that are already available or committed by the lead applicant or a partner organisation more favourably than future revenue streams when assessing grant applications. 

At what stage will an application need to demonstrate the cash component of the co-contribution funding is available? 

Co-contributions, including the cash component, should be confirmed by the time a full application is submitted. If there is likely to be a delay in confirming co-contribution funds, you should advise us as early as possible. We will not enter into a funding agreement unless co-contribution funding is confirmed (this may include letters from funding bodies or private investors). 

Are there any limitations to the source of cash contributions?  

Cash contributions can be from any source. All co-contributions must be confirmed prior to grants being awarded and any conditions or requirements of co-contribution funding must be compatible with these grants.  

Submitting EOIs

How do I submit an EOI for grant funding?  

EOIs closed on 22 April 2022.

What happens if I miss the application deadline? 

Late submissions and incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

Privacy and confidentiality

My application and registration will include personal information. How do you manage this information?  

We have legal obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) in relation to the collection, storage, access, use and disclosure of personal information. 

If collecting your personal information, we will provide you with a privacy statement at the time of collection that details how this information will be managed in accordance with privacy law.