What are the growth sectors?

The growth sectors are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing;
  • Food and Agribusiness;
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals;
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; or
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources
  • Cyber Security
What is Project Fund Programme?

Project Fund Programme is a key offering under the Industry Growth Centre initiative. Through 1:1 matched funding, the programme encourages businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to find the right commercialisation solutions for their novel produce, product, process or service.

The programme provides access to tailored, world class research targeted at helping you to find the right commercialisation solutions for your novel produce, product, process or service.

What assistance is available under the Programme?

Available assistance includes:

  • Matched funding for innovation projects
  • Guidance from FIAL on eligibility and the approach to an application by a consortium
  • Partial assistance with preparation of the detailed application for successful initial Expression of Interest submissions may be considered by FIAL
  • An opportunity to access tailored research partners to answer your questions limiting commercialisation and/or market access
What are the minimum and maximum grant amounts I can apply for?

For any individual project, the minimum grant amount is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount is $2,000,000

What is the minimum project period? What is the maximum project period?

There is no minimum project period. The maximum project research period is two years.

When can I apply?

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. You may apply at any time from programme launch, however, once all the funding has been allocated the fund will be closed and no further submissions accepted.

Can I submit two applications for two projects that are being carried out at the same time?

Yes, but you have to demonstrate resources and capability to carry out both projects.

Projects must be substantially different to each other to be accepted

Who is eligible to apply?

To be eligible you must be a consortium:

FIAL will only fund collaborative partnerships involving multiple industry players across the food and agribusiness value chain. These collaborative organisations form the consortium which submits the project application. The consortium must include at least two businesses (i.e. companies or other legal entities carrying on business who plan to commercialise the outcomes of the project) and one or more of the following: research organisations, universities, Government and other agencies or associations, commercialisation offices of publicly funded research organisations (PFROs). All Consortium members must carry on business in Australia, or principally in Australia Strategic pre-competitive industry research with dissemination workshops and training components are eligible.

As a start-up company we don't yet have a trading history are we eligible to apply?

Start-up companies who are not in the market and do not have a history of commercial sales are not eligible. However, under special conditions a start up company may be part of the consortium. Information on these conditions can be found in the detailed project guidelines

Consortium partners must demonstrate a trading history of at least 1 year at the date of application. FIAL takes trading history as the date of the first sales, not the registration of an ABN or CAN

Are there any limits on applicant turnover?

No, any company can be part of a consortium.

Do I have to operate in one of the growth sectors to be eligible to apply?

No. However, you must address one of the following Growth Sector objectives:

  • Identifying opportunities to reduce regulatory burden
  • Increasing collaboration and commercialisation between researchers and industry
  • Improving capabilities to engage with international markets and global supply chains
  • Enhancing management and workforce skills


  • The FIAL Knowledge Priority areas


  • The FIAL Management Capability Priorities

Details for both priority areas can be found at www.fial.com

I am a primary producer. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Primary producers can be members of the consortium and at-farm and cross-farm gate projects are welcome.

I don't make food but can I still apply?

Yes. Applications are open to a wide range of support providers within and to the Food and Agribusiness sector.

When can an eligible project start?

The earliest project start date is the date that the applicant enters into an agreement with FIAL.

Please note that FIAL will not provide grant funding to unsuccessful applicants, and we are not responsible for any expenditure by successful applicants until a funding agreement is in place. If you choose to start your project before a funding agreement is signed, you do so at your own risk and any expenses prior to the signed agreement with FIAL may not be eligible for inclusion into the consortium contribution to the project.

Which research organisations are eligible for the project?

Research can be completed by both public and/or private agencies but private organisations not registered as research providers must first be authorised by FIAL to ensure quality of outcomes for the submission companies.

Do I have to have an identified partner research organisation before I apply?

Yes, an EOI can not be submitted without nominated research partners.

The consortium also needs to have a research agreement in place with the research providers before FIAL is able to provide funding for successful projects.

How do I submit an application?

You must submit your application on an approved form available on the Project Fund page at www.fial.com.au

Will my application be treated as confidential?

Yes. FIAL has appropriate processes in place for commercially sensitive information.

How are conflicts of interest managed?

FIAL has robust conflict of interest processes for all staff members and contractors, conflict of interest will be managed with the outmost professionalism and propriety.

How will my application be assessed?

A selection committee of FIAL team members, the Food and Agribusiness Director from Entrepreneurs Programme or their nominee, and two external judges appointed by FIAL will review all applications, and shortlist potentially successful applications.

That shortlist will be submitted for review to the FIAL Board to determine the successful applications from that shortlist.

How will I know if I'm successful?

Successful Consortium applicants will be notified in writing and will be required to enter into legal agreement with FIAL before being entitled to payment of Project Funds.

Project will not commence until legal contracts have been signed and finalised.

Legal contract must be signed and finalised within 60 days from the day the Consortium is notified of their application being successful.

Failure to finalise contracts within 60 days from that date, will result in the withdrawal of the offer by FIAL.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

If you are not successful for funding assistance, you may at a future date submit a new application for the same or similar project.

However, your application must be substantially different to the first application and only one such new application is permitted.

Can I Resubmit if the Application has been unsuccessful?

FIAL may refuse to accept a new application if it is substantially similar to a previous ineligible or unsuccessful application.

Will my application be treated as confidential?
Yes. FIAL has appropriate processes in place for commercially sensitive information.
How are conflicts of interest managed?

FIAL has robust conflict of interest processes for all staff members and contractors, conflict of interest will be managed with the outmost professionalism and propriety.

Are the terms of the funding agreement negotiable?

The general terms of the funding agreement with FIAL are not negotiable. The schedules, covering project details, milestones, payments, reporting requirements etc., are specific to each project based on information provided in the application and will be agreed with successful applicants.

Can the funding agreement be varied during the life of the project?

Where unexpected circumstances have affected project progress, participants can request a project variation, including changes to project milestones or an extension of the project duration up to a maximum of 1 year.

Project variation requests are considered in the context of issues including impacts on the project outcome, changes to the timing of grant payments and availability of programme funds.

There is no guarantee that variation requests will be successful. Therefore, applicants should plan their projects carefully so as to avoid the need for a variation.

What are the selection criteria?

Your application will need to address the following criteria:

  • Does the project address one or more Growth Centre priorities or knowledge or management capability priority areas?
  • Is there clear consumer/market insights?
  • What is the consumer or customer value proposition?
  • Is there a viable path to market? i.e. there must be a clear commercial channel and partners identified for the uptake of the solution provided from the research
  • What is the rationale for the government to fund this project?
  • What is the likelihood of success and what are the risks for this project?
  • What is the nature of the project and what is the product or service that will be developed as a result of the project?
  • How will the project help access markets?
  • What are the internal gaps in capability that have prevented you from realising this project?
  • What internal training is required to support the project?

A more complete list of selection and project eligibility criteria can be found at the Project Fund page on www.fial.com.au

Does FIAL own the intellectual property (IP) generated from the project?

No. FIAL will not own project IP. The Applicant will own the IP arising from the project. If the Consortium is willing, FIAL would like permission to use and share IP for the benefit of the industry. However, IP will revert to FIAL 3yrs after completion of the research if the consortium has made no commercial application of the research outcomes.

Will I have to share the IP arising from the project with other companies?

IP from the project will be shared between the consortium members based on their agreement as a consortium. IP from the project does not have to be shared with other organisations. However, every project be required to describe the project outcomes at a high level, through a 1 page case study (see Reporting below), which FIAL will use to demonstrate the benefit of the programme to industry.

What are my reporting obligations?

You must provide a 1 page case study of what has been learned through the project. This case study will be provided publicly via the FIAL website.

Information in the case study will be agreed by the consortium prior to submission to FIAL

Upon completion of the project you will need to submit a "in Confidence Report" which contains information relating to project processes, learnings, trainings and outcomes and must describe the nature and application of any IP (without specifics of the actual IP created by or for the Company).

How will the results be measured by FIAL to understand the success of the government investment into the programme?

You must also provide annual reports on the benefits arising from the project for the next three years from the date of completion.

Do I have to share my IP with other companies?

No. The content of the case study report is not the developed IP from the research. The case study is a generic overview of the type of challenge, solution, benefits and learnings of the project.

The a "In confidence report" will not be shared with the public, it is for FIAL and the federal government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, which funds FIAL.

When will successful applicants receive grant payments?

Successful grant recipients will be required to provide a payment schedule as part of their application but no payments will be made before the FIAL agreement is signed by the consortium. In all cases the final payment for the project will not be made until the reports are completed and confirmation of internal training is provided to FIAL.

When can I start accruing eligible expenditure on the project?

Eligible expenditure can be accrued from the day you sign a funding agreement with FIAL.

What if actual expenditure ends up different to what is in the funding agreement?

The total grant amount specified in the funding agreement is the maximum grant amount that can be paid for the particular project. This is based on the estimated project costs the applicant proposed in their application. FIAL will not be able to provide additional funds above the maximum estimate provided in the application and the agreement for each project.

Is there an administration fee taken from the grant amount?


Are grant payments subject to the GST?

Yes, they are. Grant payments are therefore increased to compensate for GST payments.

Do recipients have to pay tax on their grant?

Grants under the programme are typically treated as assessable income for taxation purposes, unless specifically exempted.

FIAL does not provide any advice on tax, and recommends that grant recipients seek independent professional advice.

Why must I commit to funding part of the costs of my project?

As FIAL is making a significant commitment to projects funded under the programme, applicants also need to show a similar level of commitment.

At what stage do I have to have money for the matching funding?

You do not need to have all matching funding at the time of application. However, you must show that you can match the grant at the rate at which eligible expenditure on the project will be incurred.

Contributions by the commercial consortium partners will be monitored throughout the project against the provided project milestones and payment schedule and if these are not met then FIAL funding may be suspended.

Can in-kind funding be used as matching funding?

No. Activities paid for by the grant recipient using non-cash considerations or 'in-kind' contributions are not eligible expenditure. Allowing employee time on the project is not considered an 'in kind' contribution.

Can I put forward my projected sales income of the proposed product, process or service as evidence of matching funding for my grant?

No. Income from sales of the proposed product, process or services being developed under the project receiving the grant cannot be claimed as a source of matching funding in the application given the inherent risks and challenges in getting a new product, process or service to market. Additionally, it would indicate that some of your planned project activities may be past â€first sales’ and therefore ineligible.

Are legal fees considered eligible expenditure?


How is plant expenditure treated under this programme?

Typically capital items are not eligible for funding. The exception is for small, non-production based items that are essential for undertaking the research. These items must be specified in the application and may not be approved.

Research equipment needs to be available for use by the wider sector after completion of the research.

All capital items approved must be purchased by the consortium and can part of the equipment cost may considered part of the cash contribution.

Equipment modifications are not eligible.

Purchase of production equipment or civil works are not permitted.

Projects that aim to use the project funds for renovation or the extension of facilities, such as buildings or laboratories, are eligible, but only if the primary purpose of those facilities is to achieve the outcomes of the Project. It is expected that any such facilities would provide benefits to and be available to the wider industry sector beyond the Consortium e.g. a facility that could be accessed by businesses in the sector to test or pilot new or improved processes.

Is the cost of outsourcing some parts of a project classified as eligible funding? Does it make a difference if the outsourcer is Australian or from overseas?

Where outsourcing of some of the project is directly related to the research programme, this may be considered eligible funding by the consortium. Outsourced activities must be highlighted in the application and receive approval in the FIAL research agreement. All outsourced activities not requiring direct payment by the consortium are considered in-kind and not eligible as part of the project costing.

Are patent costs considered eligible expenditure?


In relation to eligible expenditure for salaries, how are on-costs dealt with?

Research salaries directly related to the research activities, but not commercial partner salaries could be incorporated into the project costing.

Where can I find more information or assistance?

For more information, visit www.fial.com..