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This information bulletin provides information not covered in the Guidelines.
We will update this page as we receive new questions.
We held an information session to present an overview of the fund and application criteria.
This video shows a PowerPoint Presentation, with speakers appearing via video to the side of the screen.
The speakers are:
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund Round 2’, ‘Information session’, ’21 October 2021’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’]
Welcome everyone. We’ll just get started in another couple of minutes. Just letting people roll in. I can see we’ve got quite a few people who’ve joined us already so thank you for being here.
Okay. Thank you everyone for joining us for this information session on the Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund - Round 2. I did get a chance to have a quick look at the registration list this morning and I know that some people here I know but there’s also many names who I didn’t recognise. So hello and welcome. My name’s Melanie Oke. I work at Sustainability Victoria in the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre Program and I’m really pleased to be with you today to talk about round 2 of this fund. I’m also joined by some of my SV colleagues in the background who will be helping throughout the session.
I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which I’m based today which is the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. I also pay my respects to the traditional custodians of the lands from which you’re joining us today and acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the world’s most oldest and sustainable culture.
So this slide shows what we’re going to cover today. We’ve got quite a packed agenda so we’ll start with the presentation and then towards the end once I’ve covered the details about Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund - Round 2 then we’ll open up the Q&A function and you’ll be able to submit your questions. And we will cover some of those live, as many as we can, either by my colleagues who will answer in the chat themselves or I’ll answer them on screen. And those questions that we don’t get to we will make sure that we answer through the Information Bulletin that we’ll post on our website next week.
So as I’m going through the presentation if you do have questions please note them down. And if they haven’t been answered by the time we get to that end point then you can submit them and we’ll make sure that they do get answered.
So first just to give you some background to the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is part of the Recycling Victoria policy. It’s one of the programs that sits under this policy. The policy was launched in February last year and it covers a whole range of aspects across the circular economy and the transition that we’re seeking for Victoria. So Recycling Victoria policy aims to transform our recycling sector, generate jobs, create a new economy and drive investment and innovation to reduce waste.
There’s 4 goals within the Recycling Victoria policy. So firstly designing products, services and systems in such a way that products are made to last, to be repaired and to be recycled at end of life, using products to create more value, and then at the end of life recycling more resources and reducing the harm from waste. And the Innovation Fund sits as I mentioned within one of the programs of this policy and you can see on the screen here it’s called the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre, or CEBIC as we call it. So if you’re not familiar with CEBIC then I do encourage you to jump online later and have a look at our website because we also have other aspects of our activities in not just the funding program.
So Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund round 2. I’ll give you a bit of an overview first and then we’ll go into the detail of the various aspects of the fund. So this round 2 aims to support projects that design out waste in the make or use phase of a resource’s lifecycle, to improve environmental and economic outcomes for Victoria. We have $750,000 available in total for this round and that’s available across 2 streams. And when I’m going through the presentation today most of what I’m discussing covers both streams or applies to both streams. So if I don’t specifically mention one stream or the other then just assume that it applies to both.
So just to give you an overview stream one is focused on textiles, textiles innovation. So this is for projects that explore, test and/or demonstrate innovative circular solutions that prevent textiles waste. Grants of between $75,000 and $150,000 are available in this stream. You need a minimum of one collaborative partner, so a lead applicant and at least one partner to form that collaborative application. And the total requirement for the co-contribution is one to one. So for every dollar that you request in funding you need to provide a dollar in either in-kind or cash contribution from the applicant and the partners.
Stream 2 is collaborative innovation. This is for projects that explore, test and/or demonstrate innovative circular solutions that prevent waste from multiple organisations in a specific supply chain, sector or region. So for this stream we haven’t said which type of material, what type of waste or what type of sector that we would like you to focus on. You need to tell us what you will be focusing on. Here we’ve got grant amounts between $150,000 and $250,000 and a requirement of 3 collaborative partners as a minimum. So that’s an applicant and 3 partners in this case.
So before I go into the detail around what we will fund, what type of projects and so on I really want to encourage you to jump on our website after this session and have a really good read through the grant guidelines. So from the CEBIC grants and funding web page you can see on this slide that there are the 2 streams. They’ve each got a tab. And if you click on that tab then you will go through to the guidelines for that particular stream and you can read it in detail. And it covers all of what we’re going to cover today. And then as I said questions that were asked which might not be in the guidelines but which we’re clarifying, they will go into an Information Bulletin that will also be available from these pages. So do make sure you read through all of this in detail. I can’t reiterate that enough.
So firstly having a look at what will we fund. So for both streams we’re looking for collaborative projects as I said and this is because I don’t know about you but I’ve never been to a circular economy event or talk or spoken to someone about circular economy issues and opportunities and not had the word collaboration used. We always hear from people how important collaboration is so we’re putting forward that all of the projects should be collaborative projects. They need to be focused within Victoria and the way we define that is to ensure that at least 50% of the project activities are taking place in Victoria. I mentioned the minimum co-contribution. Meet or exceed that co-contribution. And the third requirement here is that they need to be completed by October 2023. And I’ve said here for your planning I would say to work on a start date of around April or May 2022. So that’s while you’re going to be putting together your application and applying now you won’t be able to start your project if it’s funded and successful until you actually are in a contract or in a funding agreement with us. So we expect that will probably be around April to May 2022.
So I mentioned earlier that this fund is focused on projects, looking for circular solutions in the make and use phase. And this is coming back to those 4 goals in Recycling Victoria and the way that the CEBIC program sits in this make phase. So with this fund we are focused on these upstream innovations that prevent the cause of waste rather than looking at downstream sort of end of pipe innovations that might focus on recycling or recycled content products for example.
The next requirement is that projects must be innovative. Probably not a big surprise given that this is the Innovation Fund. So we have defined this as an innovation being something new, different or better that creates value. It may be the first of its kind. It might be inspired by other solutions or even copied. But for this grant program and your application it must not have been done before in Victoria. We are interested in different types of innovation. So it could be business model innovation, technical or social innovations. So in your application you will need to explain how this is innovative and how it’s new for Victoria and also the type of innovation and provide some evidence or justification to back up what you’re claiming.
The projects must achieve specific outcomes and this is because like any Government program we are looking to achieve certain outcomes with the CEBIC program and specifically with the Innovation Fund. So for this round of the funding the projects need to deliver at least 2 of these outcomes. So the first is the creation of new circular products and services. Now this means products and services that align with the principles of a circular economy. So designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible at their highest value, and regenerating natural systems.
The application form will ask you to explain how this is one of the outcomes you’re achieving, how the new products and services that you’re looking to create will be considered circular. And it’s really important to note that not all types of circular products and services are eligible for funding. For example in this grant round as I mentioned because we’re not focused on that recycling component we wouldn’t be including products that are made from recycled content as a focus of the project. And I’ll go more into that later in the presentation but I just wanted to flag that here because circular products and services could be many different things so need to have a think about how that actually fits with our other requirements as well.
The second outcome is to avoid waste materials to any waste or recycling destination. So this means not just recovering and recycling waste but actually avoiding it and preventing waste from being generated in the first place.
Here we’ve got a difference between the streams. Probably no surprise that stream one it needs to be some kind of textiles waste. And when we’re talking about textiles we’re not just talking about clothing. We’re talking about the full range of textile products and applications.
And for stream 2 as I mentioned earlier it can be any type of waste. So we will not specify but you need to tell us in your application what type of waste it is, how much you would estimate there is currently, how much you would estimate your project will prevent from occurring in future.
And then the third outcome is about increasing jobs and employment. So how many jobs will be created as a direct result of your project. They may be temporary jobs or they may be ongoing.
And the last outcome which applies to all projects is that lessons learned from the projects need to be able to be shared. So we will ask in the application for you to specify for example if you have a report that you’re creating as part of the project that would include confidential information or commercially sensitive IP for example. We would like you to produce a publishable version that might be high level findings or some other type of report that takes the essence of what is being generated through the project and is able to share that so that we can help others to innovate as well.
So in terms of the project activities I mentioned before projects should explore, test or demonstrate solutions. And there’s a whole range of activities that we know you might want to undertake as part of the project. So here we’re talking about things like research, business case development, it might be ideation, concept generation, and it can be a combination of these activities within your project. So in the application there is a budget section and you’ll need to note down there all of the items of the budget. And so there you can say what activities are being undertaken, at what cost and who’s incurring that cost and so on. There’s also sections in the application where you just describe your project and what you will do. So in there again we would like you to really clearly tell us what types of activities will be undertaken.
I mentioned the budget. So of course project costs are something that we have requirements around. So the types of costs that might be included are shown here. These are the costs that we will fund if they are directly related to the project. So there might be capital costs such as infrastructure or equipment, could be new or existing staff costs such as salaries, but they do need to be demonstrated to be directly related to the project. So you’ll need to have a think about if your funding application is successful how will you actually demonstrate to us who’s working on the project, how much time are they spending on it and what cost is associated and so on.
And I’ve just included a note here about our milestone payments. Those who have had a funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria will know this but if you haven’t our milestone payments are paid in arrears. So that’s after you’ve incurred the cost. So you need to think about that in your project planning and budgeting and how you would look to schedule that out.
So now let’s have a look at who will be funded, who’s eligible to apply. I mentioned earlier that for each of the streams there are lead applicants and there are collaborative partners and there are some differences in who can be an applicant and who can be a collaborative partner. So the lead applicant can be a business, it can be an industry group or association, a research institution or a charity.
If you’re the lead applicant you do need to be able to demonstrate that you’ve been operating for a minimum of 2 years by the application due date. So if you are really keen to apply but that’s not you because you’ve only been operating for a year, then you would need to think about in your collaborative partnership who else might be able to be the lead applicant and you could be a collaborative partner.
So for collaborative partners they can be a business, an industry group or association, a research institution, a charity. It can also be another not for profit organisation, community organisation or group or a Government organisation including local governments.
And I mentioned earlier the requirements. So stream one you need to have at least one collaborative partner. Stream 2 you need to have at least 3. And really importantly and the box on the side of this screen here, the collaborative partners need to have a really direct, clear and important role in the project and a demonstrated contribution whether that’s a cash or an in‑kind or both, and a letter of support needs to be provided with the application that commits your collaborative partner to that contribution and that role in the project.
So there’s a couple of examples of collaborative partnerships here. For example in stream one where you only need one partner, but of course you can have more if it benefits your project, a lead applicant might be a textile manufacturing company partnering with a design consultancy who’s a business.
Stream 2 where you’ve got 3 applicants you might have an industry group who applies and they have a partnership with 2 of their members who are businesses, a research institution and a charity organisation. Of course there could be as many examples as we could think of but this is just to give you an idea of what some of those might look like.
So now let’s have a look at those co-contribution requirements. I mentioned earlier that you do need to have at least a one to one contribution. So for every dollar that you’re requesting in funding you would contribute at least a dollar in value of either cash or in-kind.
And the requirement for the financial or cash contribution is a minimum of 20%. So at least 20% of your contribution needs to be some financial contribution.
And the co-contribution can come from both the collaborative partners and the lead applicant.
Okay. So now let’s have a look at what we won’t fund and this is particularly the area where – well the whole thing really but I do encourage you to go and have a look at those guidelines in detail and make sure your project does fit in. Because the last thing we would want you to do is go through all the effort of applying and then find out that your project wasn’t quite what we were looking for in terms of eligibility.
So I mentioned earlier that projects that focus on the recycling and the manage or energy recovery phases of that lifecycle, they are not eligible for funding in this fund, in this round of the funding. So that includes projects that focus on waste recycling or waste recovery including waste to energy, and whether that’s sort of feasibility work or infrastructure, unfortunately we can’t fund that through this fund. Similarly recycled content products. We know there’s amazing innovation happening in that space but there are other funds that are specifically focused on recycling and recycled content products so we’ve made the decision due to our limited funding that we won’t include them in this particular round of funding.
Some other areas there, projects that focus on these areas that would not be funded. Bioenergy or biofuel production, litter and illegal dumping or waste disposal.
So as I mentioned there are other funds available. They may not be open now but there may be other rounds opening in future. So I really encourage you if you’re sitting there thinking ‘That’s me. That’s my great innovative project’ we definitely don’t want to say that it’s not important and we would encourage you to jump on to our website, Sustainability Victoria, and also the Business Victoria website has some options as well.
A few more areas that are not eligible include products and materials that aren’t currently wasted, projects that focus on product stewardship schemes, individual business initiatives – so that’s where you don’t have a collaboration in place – and projects that are solely focused on water, energy or greenhouse gas emissions, council focused or community focused initiatives. And again we’ve included some suggestions here to check out the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund and the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund if your project is in those 2 categories. And I did hear that the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund, the next round for feasibility projects was just opened this afternoon so that was some really exciting news and I expect there will be an information session coming up for that very soon.
So if your project focus is in the area that we’re looking at now let’s have a think about what type of project costs. I mentioned earlier the project costs that would be funded so here’s the project costs that we wouldn’t fund. So if for example you need to lease or purchase land or premises our SV component of the funding or the grant money that you’re applying for would not cover that cost of the project. So in that case you would need to think about that being part of your co‑contribution. There’s quite a list there. I won’t go through them all. But as I said they’re really clearly laid out in the guidelines so make sure you go and have a look at that when you’re thinking about your project budget.
Okay. Now let’s have a look at some key dates. We can tick off the first 2 here. So applications are currently open. They opened on the 6th. And today we’ve got our information session. Really important date is that the applications are closing on Monday the 15th of November at 11:59pm. So I would mark into your calendar perhaps the Friday before that. The last thing you want to do is to be there at 11 o’clock on Monday the 15th
and have some kind of error with the application and you can’t submit it and you can’t get in touch with us because it’s out of business hours. So please make sure that you submit your application as far in advance as you can or as reasonably far in advance. We won’t start reviewing the applications until it closes but to help you make sure that you don’t have that stress at the last minute I do encourage that if you can.
And then as I mentioned the announcement of the outcomes we expect would be around March next year but that is subject to change. So again people who’ve experienced grant programs with us previously you know that it’s difficult for us to give an exact date for announcements unfortunately. We would love to.
And then in terms of project commencement so the funding agreements would need to be established for successful projects and projects started within 3 months of that announcement date. And again projects need to be completed by October in 2023.
So now how to apply. There are a few steps here. So making sure you’ve read all the guidelines and everything, ensure that your organisation can apply, your collaborative partners are suitable, you’ve got your great project worked out, and then do all of that background work. I encourage you to actually jump online and download the application form. You can actually download the application form as a PDF. So when you’re reading through the guidelines it’s probably helpful to also have that PDF of the application form so that you can see what questions you will actually have to answer in your application. That will really help I think with your project planning and your discussions with your collaborative partners.
So make sure you read our general grant funding agreement because that is the funding agreement you will be engaged under if you’re successful. And you must agree to and meet all of those terms and conditions to be eligible. You also need to read our terms of participation in grant programs.
We are taking applications through the SmartyGrants platform. Hopefully most of you have probably used that before and found it really helpful. We certainly find that it works really well for us. So create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website and instructions are on the first page of the application. As I said you need to submit your application by 11:59 on the 15th of November. And then once you have submitted you’ll receive an email acknowledging that your application has been received.
Now we do have a fantastic Grants Enquiries team and they are there to help you with your application, make sure that they can answer your questions. But unfortunately what they can’t do is because it’s a competitive process they can’t review your draft and they can’t provide feedback on things like ‘Is my project eligible’ or ‘If I focus on this does that fit’ or ‘What about this’. You know your project best so you’re the one who is best placed to make that assessment based on the information that we’ve published in the guidelines on the website.
But once you’ve had a read through all those guidelines and you’re putting together your application if you do still have questions you can send them through to our Grants Enquiries team using that email address.
I just want to reiterate the point around the terms and conditions because we have had people recently – we have lots of grant programs at SV and we have had some applicants who’ve been tripped up on this because they didn’t realise that they actually had agreed to our terms and conditions when they submitted their application. So do make sure that you have read those carefully before you apply because that general grant funding agreement is the funding agreement that we will be using for the grants that are being given out through this fund. So get your legal team to review those details if you have one and then as I said when you submit the application form you will be asked if you agree to them and that’s the point at which if you have issues with them you need to raise them then.
Because that way the assessment panel can look at those issues or potential changes that you may need and decide basically if that’s a deal breaker for the application and the process. Those terms and conditions are generally non-negotiable because unlike a contract where someone’s providing something in exchange for something else we are giving you funding for your project. So it’s a funding agreement rather than a straight contract.
So as I mentioned before you also need to read and agree to our terms of participation in grant programs. And all of these links are in the guidelines as well on the website.
So how will your application be assessed? There will be a panel, an assessment panel, and it’s an entirely merit based assessment across both of the streams. So we will look at all of the applications that we get across both streams and the panel will first individually assess and then as a collective come together and decide on an overall score for each application. And those that have the strongest merit will be funded. So the criteria that we’re using is shown here. So the what, who, how and then a value for money criteria as well. And as I said earlier if you go into the SmartyGrants platform you can actually download the application form and it’s really clear as to which questions are being asked against each of the criteria. And of course it’s that information that you provide in your application that the panel will use to make their assessment. So please make sure to use plain language. The panel might not be an expert in your particular field or really, really well versed in your sector so make sure that you’re using clear plain language and that you’re giving all of the information that you need to for them to make that assessment.
Okay. So now I’ll cover some what we call frequently asked questions, questions that we tend to get. And I think one of my colleagues will turn on the Q&A function so you can start entering your questions into that function. Maybe just have a look at these questions first and check that we’re not already going to answer it. So I’ll just quickly run through these and then Emily can ask me some of the questions that have come through in that Q&A.
Can I meet with someone to discuss my project idea or application?
Unfortunately no. Because as I mentioned it’s a competitive program we need to make sure that we’re giving everyone the absolute equal availability of information so we aren’t able to meet with you and discuss the project idea.
Similarly if you want to think about what your project focus is or which funding program is most appropriate again you need to have a read through all of the information and make that assessment yourself. It’s really difficult for us to make that judgment for you partly because we don’t know your project in the level of detail that you do. So we sometimes do get questions where they say ‘I have a project and it’s going to look at this particular area’ but that’s not enough information for us to make a judgment. We don’t want to give you the wrong information so we let you make that decision yourself or that assessment yourself.
Can I be a project partner in more than one project or funding application?
Yes you can. And yes you can also submit multiple applications for different projects. You need to have a think though about your capacity as an organisation. So the assessors will be looking at the questions around what capability and capacity the organisations have who are either the applicant or the partner. And so if you are a project partner in more than one application or if you’re submitting as a lead applicant more than one application for different projects, do make sure that you would have the capacity to deliver them if by luck would have it you have multiple projects approved.
Can a single funding application include funding for multiple projects?
No. So your funding application just needs to be for one project. But that said a single project can have different components or different stages and so on. So they don’t have to just be one activity or one area of work that you’re doing.
And the last one.
Can you apply for multiple funding programs?
Because I mentioned there are a range of different funding programs that we have at SV. You can apply for multiple funding programs but not for the same project. So if you have a project that you would like to apply for this fund in round 2 if you’ve applied previously and that fund is still open you would need to withdraw that application. So again it’s about looking at the different funding programs, the eligibility, the criteria and so on and making an assessment as to which one is the most applicable to you.
Great. So I’m now ready to open it up to other questions. So Emily what have we got coming through.
Sure thing Mel. We’ve got a few coming through. One is asking:
Are we able to find out what projects have been funded in the past?
Yes. Great question. Absolutely. They are listed in the funded projects section of the CEBIC website. And perhaps one of our colleagues there can post a link to it but if not then jump on to the CEBIC website and there’s grants and funding and from that you will find funded projects. And you can see there the projects that we funded from round one of both of the funding programs that we have under CEBIC. So we have the Innovation Fund and we also have the Business Support Fund.
Now bear in mind for the Innovation Fund the requirements for round one and round 2 have changed a little bit. So it’s definitely worth having a look and seeing what we funded previously but bear in mind that some of the requirements are a bit different this time around. The biggest one being that in the first round we had a focus on food waste. So we had a stream that was specific to food. In this financial year CEBIC has a focus area that is textiles. So we have a textiles innovation funding stream.
Great. Thanks Mel. Another one is:
How set in stone is the October 2023 completion date? If I can present a good argument for why the project will take longer can it be pushed back to say Feb 2024?
That is a good question.
I think we would have to take that on notice and come back to you on that because while that sounds very sensible we do as we said need to be fair and equitable to all applicants. So we’ll come back to you on that. I’ll confer with the kind of legal and grants team and then we’ll include that in the Information Bulletin.
Great. Thanks Mel. And another one is:
Can start ups be a collaborative partner for a circular product solution?
Yes. That definitely sounds like if they’re a business, they’ve got an ABN, then yes they would be a great collaborative partner. And as a start up I’m assuming you probably haven’t reached the 2 year operating mark so going in as a collaborative partner would be a great option.
Great. Thanks Mel.
Is a great weight given to the collaboration being with a university or business?
So we don’t have a preference between what type of organisation is the lead applicant or what type of organisation – as long as they’re one of those ones that’s allowed then we don’t have a preference for that.
Great. And another one here.
Would funding for the research, design and development of digital platforms for circular products and services be considered?
Good question. And this is one where I would have to say you need to have a read through the guidelines and consider yourself whether you’re applicable or not. Because it’s difficult to make an assessment just on a very small amount of information.
Great. Thanks Mel. I’m just looking through here.
The lead partner for my project is currently the beneficiary of Sustainability Victoria grant. Does this make them ineligible?
No. Good question. That doesn’t make them ineligible by any means. You do need to state what other funding you’ve received from Sustainability Victoria as part of the application. So just acknowledge that and that’s absolutely fine. As long as as I mentioned before your organisation has got the capacity to deliver or can ramp up given the additional funding – if that’s successful can ramp up with some additional staff or other resources to be able to deliver on both.
The only thing to that would be if you – I’m sure there’s a requirement in there around if you’ve previously been a recipient and you have done the wrong thing or the project has gone off the rails for some reason – that’s not the right terminology to use but we can clarify that in the Information Bulletin if it’s not already in the guidelines which I think it will be around what that part of it is. So I’m thinking if you’ve really not delivered on the commitment that you’ve made through the previous project.
Great. Thanks Mel. And another one here is:
Is salvaging a waste product and creating new products from the new material outside of the recycling scope? I’m a bit confused on that part.
Yeah. Sorry Em. Can you just read it out again?
Is salvaging a waste product and creating new products from the new material outside of the recycling scope?
Yeah. That sounds to me like it is essentially recycled content products so it probably wouldn’t be eligible. But again as I said please just have a read through those guidelines and make that assessment. And then if you are still feeling that you’re not quite sure send us an email through to Grants Enquiries and we can follow up from there.
If we have already received a previous Government grant for the project is it still eligible?
No. If you’ve received funding for this project and these activities then it wouldn’t be eligible. If you’ve received funding for something related like perhaps a previous stage or you’ve done a pilot and now you’re ready to do some further testing or to implement or that sort of thing then that would probably be fine. So you can’t receive funding for activities that you’ve received funding for previously.
Great. Thank you. Just looking for some more that are coming through.
We have one around recycling content.
No. It’s a similar one to what we’ve already said sorry. We’ve got a lot coming through.
Yeah. We’ve answered a lot here.
So there seems to be a lot coming through around recycling. Sorry. I’m just trying to clear those out because we’ve touched on those a fair bit.
And for those of you who are in that space if you’re not sure how to find that information on our website about the other funding programs or if you have a look and you think there’s nothing for me at the moment please do send through another email enquiry and follow up with us so we can try to point you in the right direction.
Great. Mel we’ve got another one here around cash contributions.
Are cash contributions paid to Sustainability Victoria and then on paid back to the project?
Yes. No. They are not. They are expenses that you incur, either the lead applicant or the collaborative partner will incur during the project. So perhaps you engage a consultant to do some part of the work, you pay the consultant, and then as part of the milestone evidence you would need to provide us the evidence of that expenditure. So it might be the invoice showing the payment that’s been made or something along those lines. So there’s certainly no giving us the money and then us giving it back.
Great. Thanks Mel. We’ve got one relevant to stream 2.
Is it okay to have only one industry partner with the waste problem/opportunity and the other partners don’t have the waste but support the innovation solution?
Yes. I think that would probably be fine. So in terms of who’s generating the waste currently that’s going to be reduced – we did say multiple organisations across a specific supply chain or sector didn’t we?
Okay. So actually maybe we would need to see an impact across multiple organisations. Let us answer that one – come back to that, just take that on notice and come back to it in the Information Bulletin because I’m thinking the impact could be across – if the impact was across multiple organisations it wouldn’t necessarily need to be that the waste reduction impact is across those multiple organisations. For example you might have jobs created in one of the other organisations but waste avoided in this one and so on. So we’ll clarify that requirement in the Bulletin.
Great. And there’s one here around:
How about remanufacturing of parts and components not just recycling as waste? And then how to bring those used products, parts and components back to the make phase, like refurbishing?
Yep. Okay. Yeah. So as we spoke about we would focus on the make and the use phase and we would consider reuse and refurbishment to be in the use phase and then connected back to make. So in your application you will just need to explain really clearly how your project sits in either one or both of those phases and is different to being in the recycling phase.
And we’ve got one here around:
Would the regenerative agriculture space be considered as part of an application for the circular product/services?
Yes it would. So the way we’ve defined that circular products and services, because that is a very broad term, we’ve said that that needs to align with the principles of a circular economy and one of those principles is regenerating natural systems. So potentially a regenerative agriculture product would fit into that category and that impact. We would want you to have a think about what would potentially be the waste impacts or material impacts as well but that could come into that category. Yes.
And we have another one here relating to stream one.
Is the stream one considered as using textile waste for other applications or uses?
That sounds like you’re talking about recycling textile waste into new products. So in that case probably not because it’s in that recycling phase.
Great. Thanks Mel. And there’s another one here.
If lead and collaborators are local however there are ties to international expertise are international additional collaborators excluded?
The lead and the collaborative partners need to have an ABN so they do need to be operating within Australia. But that doesn’t exclude you from having other organisations or individuals involved in your project. So they would not be able to make a contribution like a cash or in‑kind contribution but you could certainly involve them as project participants kind of rather than having them as one of the official collaborative partners. I mean they may be a partner on your project but just not one that counts towards that minimum requirement number and has a co‑contribution, an amount.
Great. Thanks Mel. Another one here about:
How about providing innovative solutions to minimise industry reliance on petroleum-based toxic feedstock?
Again probably not enough information for us to make an assessment as to whether that would be eligible or not. And I would just encourage you to have a read through the guidelines afterwards and make that assessment yourselves.
But with that stream 2 collaborative innovation we haven’t specified the types of materials that are required to be focused on so it could be any type of waste. If the impact and the outcome is waste avoidance it could be any type of waste.
Great. Thanks Mel. We have one around:
Does the lead applicant have to spend the grant money or can the collaborative partners?
The lead applicant or the collaborative partners can spend the grant money. The grant money will come to the lead applicant though. So the lead applicant has the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria so they will be the one invoicing us and receiving our payments of the grant funds. And then between the lead applicant and the collaborative partners you would need to have your own agreement in place for the distribution of those funds to the different partners. And in this first round of funding that we’ve already done we’ve got projects up and running. We’ve certainly got projects where that’s the case, where the lead applicant is receiving the funding and then the funds are going to different partners within the collaboration. And in the funding agreement we will put in a clause that just says evidence would be received in the name of the lead or the partners. So that invoice that I mentioned earlier, if you’ve made a payment for a certain service or good for the project, the name that the invoice comes to could be the partner rather than the lead applicant and that’s fine.
Great. Another one here around:
Can we focus on liquid waste only?
That’s a good question. Recycling Victoria is focused on really the sort of – it’s more in the solid waste field. So let me get back to you on that one. Let’s take that on notice and we’ll answer it in the Bulletin.
Great. Thanks Mel. And there’s one here just asking for a bit of clarity. So the question is:
I think the confusion here is that it is okay to redesign systems to eliminate waste however waste recycling including feasibility will not be funded. Can this be clarified please?
Yeah. Sure. So we won’t fund projects that focus solely on waste recycling and that’s because this program, the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre program, it’s probably one of the few programs in Recycling Victoria policy that is really trying to look at that upstream solution, upstream innovations and that redesign of products and services and systems. So if you’re redesigning a whole system perhaps there’s an element of recycling in there. But your project can’t focus on that recycling. It needs to be focused in that make or use space.
And I’m sure there will be still people here who are confused by this. So if that’s the case when we answer the questions through the Information Bulletin have a look at those answers and then if you’re still not clear do send us an enquiry because this is a bit of a different approach for us to try and clarify it and define it in this way. So we will continue to provide more information if it’s not clear.
Great. Thank you Mel. Another one here.
You said that the business needs to be in Victoria. What if one is in Victoria and one is in South Australia? Would they be eligible for collaboration funding?
Yes. The activities of the project need to take place in Victoria but the business or whatever type of organisation they are don’t need to be based here. So you just need to tell us in your application what is the location of the activities that are being undertaken and then there could be multiple addresses in there so just specify what those are and more than 50% needs to be in Victoria.
Thanks Mel. And there’s one here just asking again about the Councils Fund. So could you please re-mention the exact fund name and when it reopened?
Sure. So hopefully I’ve got this right because it literally was just this afternoon that I saw a message about this. And in fact one of my colleagues can probably post in the chat or in the Q&A answer there if you’ve got the link to the media release or something. But the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund, the second round was opened this afternoon.
Great. Thanks Mel. Another one.
How do we contact you for questions you’ve taken on notice?
Yeah. So we will actually contact you. When we’ve put together all those questions and we’ve put them into the Information Bulletin we will send everyone who’s registered for this event – we will send out a notification to say that – well probably 2. So excuse the multiple emails. But firstly the recording for the session because we know that some people register but don’t make it. So if we get the recording up first we will let you know. And then the second one will be the Information Bulletin. When we have posted that we will let you know. And it will be to the email that you registered for the event with.
Thanks Mel. And another one here.
When you say that stream 2 projects need to be limited to one sector how narrow does that need to be? Our idea involves a portfolio of different elements.
Yeah. Stream 2 doesn’t need to be limited to one sector. It needs to be specified. So you need to tell us. But if you have multiple sectors that’s okay. And if that’s not clear in the guidelines then we’ll make sure we clarify that in the Information Bulletin.
And that sounds great. To be involving different sectors, we certainly are not against that idea.
And we’ve probably got a few minutes left so if you want to keep putting in your questions go ahead. We have another one here.
I understand a project is not focused on downstream recycling but is manufacturing/industrial waste upcycling included? It’s kind of a grey area.
Yeah. Good question. We would consider that I think to still be recycling if it’s not – waste could be generated either pre-consumer or post-consumer but it’s still waste that’s being generated that we would like to avoid. So reducing that generation of waste in the make and the use phases, that’s where we’re focused. Whereas the recycling might be recycling of either pre‑consumer or post-consumer material but that’s not the focus. So projects that focused on that wouldn’t be eligible.
If the innovation involves food waste reduction is that eligible even though it’s not the focus of this round?
Yeah. So if the food waste reduction was the focus it would need to go into stream 2, collaborative innovation, and it would need to meet the other requirements of that stream.
Great. And we have one.
Is project testing allowed to be done outside of Victoria?
I see no problem with that. As long as overall 50% of the activities were happening in Victoria then that’s probably fine. It probably just depends what you mean. I’m thinking if you were doing some lab testing with a lab that’s located elsewhere because that’s where the expertise is that would make sense to me. If you were doing sort of testing with consumers I think ideally you’d probably do that in Victoria but there’s no requirement for that if as I said overall 50% of the activities would be in Victoria.
Great. Thanks Mel. And there’s a question about our application form.
For stream 2 there’s a question around:
The number of organisations producing this waste type in Victoria. What does this mean especially if it’s a very common waste item?
Okay. I am not – I can’t recall that exact question on the application form.
Mel I think if it’s under waste avoidance we ask for the tonnes and then an estimate of kind of the amount of organisations producing that waste.
Okay. Yeah. So that might be sort of an irrelevant question.
I think that question is probably more about the kind of overall scale of the waste issue. So if it’s being produced by most organisations or literally hundreds or thousands of organisations then I think just give some explanation in there. In that waste avoidance there’s a section where you can sort of talk about your methodology and how you made the estimates. So just give us some information about the scope of the issue.
Thanks Mel. I’m just sorting through. It’s sort of slowed down with the ones coming in. So perhaps this might be a final one.
Is an end of life textile product destined for landfill with no solution deemed as a recyclable item and would the funding enable innovative testing for creation of commercial/domestic scalable products?
So if it’s about creating a new product from a waste whether that’s in the textiles or the collaborative innovation, some other kind of waste, we would consider that as innovation in recycled content products. So no that sounds like it wouldn’t be. And so have a read through those guidelines and see what you think as to where that falls. We really are looking at avoiding and preventing waste from being generated rather than recovering and recycling waste.
Thanks Mel. And there’s one here.
Are disposable nappies considered textiles?
I think disposable nappies would be considered textiles. They are made from textile materials my understanding is. Though we would have to – maybe we can just take that one on notice. It’s certainly not one that comes up a lot when we talk about it but we can get back to you on that.
Great. Thanks Mel. I think that’s addressing most of what has come through at this point.
So well done.
Okay. Thank you. Thanks so much Em. I know it’s difficult to filter through all the questions. And thank you all for your patience when you’re still watching at this point. We really appreciate you taking the time. We look forward to receiving your further questions and then seeing your applications when they come through if you decide to go ahead with that application. So good luck and thank you again for being here today.
[End of Transcript]
Can a new technology-based start-up be considered as an individual business?
Yes, if they have an Australian Business Number (ABN), they are considered a business. A Lead Applicant must have been operating with a current ABN for at least 2 years by the fund’s closing date, 15 November 2021.
If they have a current ABN and has not been operating for 2 years yet, they can be a Collaborative Partner.
As a start-up, can you be a Collaborative Partner?Yes, if you are a business with an ABN and meet the other requirements.
Can sole traders be Collaborative Partners?
Yes, if you are a business with an ABN and meet the other requirements.
The Lead Applicant for my project is currently the beneficiary of a Sustainability Victoria grant. Does this make them ineligible?
If the other grant was for a project and activities that are different, the Lead Applicant is eligible for this grant.When applying for this fund, you will need to disclose this information.
Is a greater weight given when the collaboration is with a university or a business?There is no preference or weighting for organisation types.
Is it okay to have only one industry partner with the waste problem or opportunity? The other partners do not have the waste but support the innovative solution. This makes it not quite a collaboration between different waste generators.This would be acceptable for Stream 1: Textiles Innovation, if you are focused on preventing textiles waste.
On whether Collaborative Partners could be organisations based overseas:
To be a lead applicant or a collaborative partner, an organisation need an Australian Business Number (ABN) – it needs to be operating in Australia.International organisations can take part as a project participant.
Does the Lead Applicant have to spend the grant money, or can the Collaborative Partners do so? The Lead Applicant will hold the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria and receive all of the funds. The Lead Applicant should have their own agreement with Collaborative Partners regarding distribution of funds to Collaborative Partners.
How about remanufacturing of parts and components, not just recycling as waste? And then how to bring those used products, parts or components back to the ‘make’ phase (like refurbishing)?
The project must focus on the ‘make’ phase and the ‘use’ phase. These phases can include reuse and refurbishing.
When applying for this fund, you will need to explain clearly how your project sits within those phases.
Would the regenerative agriculture space be considered as part of an application for circular products or services? Yes, this can be considered. The application must also meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. When applying, explain how the circular product or service aligns with the principles of a circular economy, which includes “regenerating natural systems”. Read the Guidelines to determine if your project is eligible.
This is about the question, “Provide an estimate of the number of new circular products or services created by the project”. If it is a shared service for many firms with an unknown number of products, is it considered as one? Or should I estimate how many products that the service applies to? If one type of product is created and it can be made into several products, is that considered as one or many?
If you are creating one product type or one service for many firms, the answer would be ‘one’. In the application form, the next question is, “Outline the methodology and assumptions for this estimation and why the products/services you are creating should be considered ‘circular’”. This is where you can provide more details about the eventual reach of the product or service.
Additional definitionsRecycling: Converting waste into a reusable material. It is a term that may be used to cover a wide range of activities, including collection, sorting, reprocessing and manufacture into new products. For the purpose of this fund, it also includes: involving a process that changes its original form so it can be used again.Recycled content: Waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed, and recycled in the creation of a new product.Re-use: Using a product more than once in its original form, for the same purpose or a different purpose.Waste:This refers to:
Textiles: Any textile material or product made with textile materials, such as clothing, footwear, carpet, soft furnishings, industrial textiles and fibres.
On the definition of recycling:
We have created more definitions to help with understanding. Go to the section Additional definitions.
Recycling includes a process that changes a product or material’s original form so it can be used again. Reuse involves using the product or material in its original form.
Typically, repurposing, remake and reuse strategies are considered part of the ‘use’ phase and do not involve a change to the product or material’s original form. Therefore they would be eligible for funding.
What if the plan to reduce or eliminate waste is based on using own waste stream as input instead of virgin materials? Is that still in the ‘make’ phase or is it recycled content product?If the project focuses on recycling waste materials (defined as ‘including a step that changes their original form’) or using them to create a recycled content product, it would not be eligible, regardless of the source of the waste. This question is about recycled content. Can you use the waste from another product to create a second product, that is, to repurpose waste for another purpose?‘Recycled content’ is waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed, and recycled in the creation of a new product. If your project focuses on recycled content products, it would not be eligible for funding.We have created more definitions to help with understanding. Go to the section Additional definitions.
Is salvaging a waste product and creating new products from the new material outside of the recycling scope? Recycling includes a process that changes a product or material’s original form so it can be used again. Reuse involves using it in its original form. Recycled content is waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed, and recycled in the creation of a new product. If your project focuses on reuse, it may be eligible. If your project focuses on recycled content products, it would not be eligible for funding. We have created more definitions to help with understanding. Go to the section Additional definitions.
I understand the project is not focused on downstream recycling, but is manufacturing or upcycling of industrial waste included? The project must not focus on recycling of any type of waste, whether it is from post-consumer or pre-consumer (manufacturing or industrial) waste sources. The project needs to focus on preventing waste, rather than recycling.You have said that re-designing systems to eliminate waste is acceptable, however, waste recycling including feasibility will not be funded. Can this be clarified please? Projects that focus solely on waste recycling are ineligible. This round of funding is focused on upstream solutions and innovation, such as redesign of products and services. Your project may incorporate recycling but cannot focus on it. When applying for this fund, you need to clearly explain the project focus and all project elements.
Is end-of-life textile product, destined for landfill (no solution) deemed as a recyclable item? And would the funding enable innovative testing for creation of commercial or domestic saleable products?This sounds like an innovation that relates to recycling and recycled content product development. If this is the project focus, it would not be eligible. Is recycling an end-of-life product considered as waste recycling? Yes, this would be considered as waste recycling.
If the focus is on ‘make’ phase, can recycled content product be part of that solution?Your project may incorporate recycled content products but cannot focus on it. When applying for this fund, explain clearly the project focus and all project elements.
We are working with a local council on a route optimisation model. This may reduce the waste collection cost significantly if become successful. Does a project of this nature consider eligible for this grant?
From the information provided, this seems to be a project that is focused on waste collection. Therefore, it would not be eligible.
Your council partner may wish to consider the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund.
Are disposable nappies considered textiles? Yes, disposable nappies are considered a textile product. All types of textile products and applications are eligible.Are plastic gowns for use in healthcare settings considered as 'textile waste'? Yes, gowns in healthcare are considered textiles.
On project eligibility:
We are unable to provide an answer as to whether the projects are eligible. Please read this page and the Guidelines to determine whether your project is eligible.
If you still have questions, contact our Grants enquiries team.
How set in stone is the October 2023 completion date? If I can present a good argument for why the project will take longer, can it be pushed back to, say, February 2024?
Unfortunately, we can only accept applications for projects that are completed before October 2023. This is to be fair to all applicants, as that’s the timeframe that has been advertised.
If we have already received a previous government grant for the project, is it still eligible?
If the project activities have received funding before, the project is not eligible for funding.
Project activities that have not been funded before may be eligible. For instance, if the funds were for an earlier stage of the project, for entirely separate activities, or for a related project.
You said that the business needs to be in Victoria. What if one is in Victoria and one is in South Australia – would they be eligible?
Yes, but more than 50 percent of activities need to be undertaken in Victoria. Regarding the requirement of ‘50% of activities being located in Victoria’, is that with respect to waste stream diversion? Or does that include all activities (that is, including desktop research or consulting activities)?It applies to all project activities. Is project testing is allowed to be done outside Victoria? Yes, if 50% of activities are still happening in Victoria.
With $750,000 total funding and a minimum allocation of $75,000 per project, will the number of funded projects be 10 or less?
Yes, we expect to fund up to 10 projects in this round.
Does the total amount of funding available include the funding from the project lead and team? For example, is it a maximum of $125,000 from Sustainability Victoria and $125,000 from Project Team, or $250,000 from Sustainability Victoria and $250,000 from the Project Team?The funding available is the contribution from Sustainability Victoria.This means:
The project team must at least match the amount of funding they apply for.
Does the 20% cash contribution need to be provided by the Lead Applicant or Collaborative Partners, or both?It does not matter whether that component of the Co-contribution is made by the Lead Applicant, Collaborative Partners, or both. What form does the cash contribution take and what can it be used on? For example, should it be used on all the things that Sustainability Victoria would not fund?The cash contribution can be used on any type of cost if it is demonstrated to be directly related to the project.
Are cash contributions paid to Sustainability Victoria and then paid back to the project? No, the cash contribution is spent by the Lead Applicant or Collaborative Partners. You will need to provide proof of the expenditure for the evidence-based and performance-based milestone payments. How do you account for and record In-kind Contributions? For instance, how do you value volunteer work?The In-kind Contribution of volunteer work should be calculated by grant applicants based on the equivalent costs that would have been incurred if the person was receiving remuneration as a paid employee or contractor. You need to make your own estimation, as this may vary between different industries and sectors. If your project is funded, you would need to provide evidence of the In-kind Contributions provided to the project as part of your reporting.
I have been working on my start-up without pay since the start of this year. Can I put these hours down at fair market rate as an In-kind Co-contribution?
No, retrospective funding is not provided.
Are there any consultants who can assist with our applications?
As this is a contested application process, we are unable to consult or assist you with your application. There are external consultants who could assist but we are not able to make recommendations.
With regards to waste prevented in the future, what time frame does that refer to?
You can choose the time frame for your estimation.
Can employment created be in periphery roles (such as machinists, manufacturing suppliers, social media marketing) or do you mean direct employment? I imagine sole traders (individual businesses) would contract out or work with various suppliers.
The employment must be a direct result of the funded project. It does not have to be within the Lead Applicant or Collaborative Partner organisations.
If your project receives funding, you would need to provide evidence of the employment created as part of your grant reporting.
Can we find out what projects have been funded in the past?
For a list of previous recipients, go to the webpage Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund – Funded projects.
Can we find out what projects were not funded [in previous rounds]?
No, we do not disclose the details of unsuccessful applications.
During the presentation, it was mentioned that there is a fund focused on councils. What was it?
Please go to the webpage Recycling Victoria Councils Fund: Stream 1.
For projects like repair cafes and social enterprises at waste facilities, should we be looking at funds targeting councils or communities?
Please check the funds’ guidelines to ensure the project meets the eligibility criteria.