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This page will be updated regularly based on questions we receive.
We held information sessions to present an overview of the fund and application criteria.
Download the latest presentation slides (pdf, 1.25MB).
This video shows three speakers presenting at the Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund Information Session on 3 December 2020.
The speakers are:
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund’, ‘Information session’, ‘3 December 2020’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]
Okay. Welcome all. Thank you so much for coming today and joining our first information session for the recently announced $10 million Business Support Fund. For those of you I don’t yet know, my name is Travis Hatton, and I’m the program lead on this fund.
I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners on the many lands on which we’re meeting from today. I’d also like to pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
So before we get started, I wanted to walk through a few housekeeping rules. So today’s session I’d like to let you know will be recorded and will be shared publicly. The agenda for today’s session is shown on this slide. During the session, please feel free to submit your questions via the Q&A function as we go through the presentation or at the end of the presentation.
Be sure to ‘like’ questions you’re keen to hear answers for, as the most liked questions will be answered first. I’m now going to pass the baton across to Guy Pritchard, who will provide an overview of the $300 million Recycling Victoria Policy and our recently announced Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre. So Guy, over to you.
Thanks. Thanks, Travis. Yeah. Welcome everyone to this session on the Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund. My name’s Guy Pritchard. I’m managing the team that’s delivering the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre and this grant round which is associated with it. Before we get into the details of the grants, I’ll just give you a quick overview of the policy that this grant fund is situated in. It’s the Recycling Victoria New Economy Policy. It’s a ten-year policy and action plan that aims to transform how our economy uses materials. It represents the Victorian Government’s action plan to reform the waste and recycling system over the next decade. It does include a complete overhaul of our recycling system, with reform to kerbside recycling, the introduction of things like container deposit scheme, and also new investment in industry and the creation of waste management as an essential service.
It’s also an opportunity to change the way that we do business and to grow new jobs. Beyond recycling, the shift will fundamentally transform Victoria’s economy. Victoria’s ideally placed, we think, to advance and grow circular economy. We have a highly skilled workforce. We’ve got well-connected supply chains. We have really good design and engineering expertise, and we have that sort of world-class infrastructure, and leading education and research institutions here as well. So the Recycling Victoria Policy, whilst it is very much focused in that recycling area and improving that, it’s also an opportunity to move towards a circular economy.
The Recycling Victoria goals, as you can see here in the circle of the sort of diagram of the circular economy there, there’s four main goals. One is to ensure that we’re designing things to last, and to repair and recycle. We also want to use products to create more value. So it is very much about adding value there. We want to recycle more resources, and we want to reduce harm from waste. So those are the four key goals that the policy is pitched at, and the Business Support Fund is also aimed at those ones as well.
Now we’ve got the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre, also known as CEBIC, is the frontend if you like to a lot of those programs. The Business Support Fund will be delivered through the CEBIC. It’s one of the two funds that support Victoria to kickstart the circular economy area. It is a virtual centre, and you can find it there at cebic.vic.gov.au. And that will provide you access to things like upcoming events and collaboration opportunities. We’re trying to make research insights and best practice for circular economy much more accessible, and there are obviously funding opportunities like this one coming through, and that’s all detailed on that website cebic.vic.gov.au.
Now there are two funds that are available here. The one we’re focusing on today is the Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund. That will be targeting individual businesses or collaborative partnerships that focus on the waste prevention, reuse, remanufacturing, upcycling, and also there is an element there of innovative recycling approaches where they develop new recycling markets in Victoria. We’re not looking at collection systems and established systems there. If we’re going to go into that recycling area, we’re looking at something that will be a bit new and innovative for this fund. The waste prevention, reuse, remanufacture and upcycling, we’re looking for proven approaches in that, and the projects must investigate – there’s two streams there – they must investigate how to adapt and apply circular economy opportunities, or they must implement that sort of evidence-based circular economy solutions. And they can be across one, or it can be across multiple businesses. And we’re also looking at delivering greenhouse gas emission reductions in Victoria.
That’s the Business Support Fund. Very much individual businesses or collaborative partnerships that focus on those ones.
The Innovation Fund is really about collaborative partnerships, focusing on designing out waste, and maintaining product and material value over a longer period. And the Innovation Fund is different in that we really want to identify opportunities, and looking at innovative circular economy business models and practices for food waste or food sector or other systemic barriers. So I mentioned the RV Innovation Fund, because it is also delivered through the CEBIC. There will be another opportunity to get more information on the Innovation Fund on Monday the 14th. This session today is very much focused on the RV Business Support Fund.
So I’ll hand you back to Travis, and he’ll go through a bit more of the detail about the RV Business Support Fund.
Awesome. Thank you so much for that introduction, Guy. Now before we continue, I just want to remind you to feel free to keep asking questions via the Q&A box, and to ‘like’ the ones you want answered first. We’ll answer these questions in writing during the presentation, during the Q&A, or maybe after the session if we can’t get on to them in time.
Now back to the presentation. So what this slide is showing are the objectives for the Business Support Fund. So there are a lot of objectives as you can see, which means this fund is open to a wide range of projects, which you’ll see as we progress through the coming slides.
So the top-level thing that I want to let you know, as Guy just mentioned, the fund’s objective is for businesses either to identify opportunities, to take advantage of circular economy opportunities and approaches, or to increase the uptake of circular economy opportunities and approaches. So that means you might be going out and looking for opportunities within your business to take a circular economy idea, or you’re ready to kickstart a circular economy idea and you want to apply for funding to make that happen.
The outcomes that we’re looking for in Victoria are really about increasing the access to circular economy products, services, for businesses and consumers alike. We want to increase materials efficiency. We want to increase the duration that products exist and their value across their lifecycle. We want to reduce the materials intensity of a product, service or business model. So doing what we’re doing today but with less resources, using those resources more efficiently. We want to develop new circular economy-based services, products, models and markets, and we want to create new local jobs and increase circular economy-based skills in the workforce. We want to reduce materials to landfill and any other waste destination. So that might be waste sent to the sewer. It might be waste that’s actually recycled at the moment that we can do something better with. It may be agricultural waste left on the farm. And finally, we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
So what we’re really excited to announce, or were excited to announce on November 20, is that round one of the Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund is now open. As you might already know and can see on the slide, as Guy alluded to earlier, the fund has two different streams.
So Stream 1 is really designed to support businesses looking to take their next steps in adapting and applying circular economy business approaches to waste reduction. These grants won’t help you build a new business, but what this stream will do is help you build the business case. And this brings me to Stream 2.
So Stream 2 is really designed to support businesses to implement evidence-based circular economy business opportunities. So this is about taking the business case that you have, or maybe the business case that you’ve developed in Stream 1, and jumpstarting it into action.
Now both streams will support individual businesses and collaborative partnerships. So you can choose to walk it alone or work with others on your project. This is different to the Innovation Fund that Guy mentioned earlier, where a key condition of that fund is that you must collaborate with others on your project. We are more than happy if you’re an individual business to come to us for funding, just to fix that waste issue within your business or to dive into a new circular economy opportunity alone.
And now this brings me to the next section on who will be funded.
So for both Stream 1 and Stream 2 grants, each application must have a lead applicant. You could also choose to have a project partner or multiple project partners, but you don’t have to. So the lead applicants or project partners for these grants can be individual businesses, they can be charities, they can be other not-for-profit organisations, or they could be industry groups and associations. Now consultants can also be a lead applicant, but only in a collaborative partnership. If you’re a consultant, this means that you must be helping another business to identify or implement a circular economy opportunity. An example of this would be you’re a consultancy that performs material efficiency assessments. You could sign up as a lead applicant with project partners from the food industry for example, and provide your services to those businesses as a collaborative partnership.
If choosing to work as a group, you must provide evidence of a collaborative partnership if applying as one. Now the details around this are provided in the guidelines and application form and on the SmartyGrants application, which you can actually preview before you start a new application. In Stream 1, the lead applicants need to have been operating for a minimum of two years, or they can provide a director’s guarantee. So in Stream 1, two years operating, or you can give a director’s guarantee. There is a condition here though. If you do apply with the director’s guarantee and you’ve been operating less than two years, you will only be able to apply for a maximum grant of $75,000.
Now in Stream 2, we’re taking a little bit of a less-risk approach here, and we’re only accepting applicants from lead applicants that have been operating a minimum of two years. So to engage in one of these implementation projects, you will need to be operating a minimum of two years. Now unlike the Innovation Fund, these grants will not provide funding to government entities.
So getting into the fun part. What will be funded? So I’m going to talk first about Stream 1, and then I’m going to talk about Stream 2. And you’ll see some similarities between the slides, so I apologise if there’s duplication. I just want to make this as easy for you to understand as possible. And we’ll follow this up after the information session. You can visit the website to read more, and we will be posting any questions asked today, FAQs on the information bulletin, which will be available on our website at cebic.vic.gov.au. Just visit the Grants page.
So what will be funded under Stream 1? Stream 1, just to remind you, this was the stream about identifying opportunities for businesses to take advantage of circular economy opportunities and approaches. These grants must be focused in Victoria. At least 50% of the project activities and all of the required benefits must happen within Victoria. The project cannot have started or completed before the funding agreement is signed. I just want to pause on this for a moment. In yesterday’s information session, we had a lot of questions about this. If you’re applying for funding for a project, you cannot commence or complete the activities in that funding application before that funding agreement is signed. That is a really important thing to keep in mind.
Now you must also meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirement for funding. In this case it’s 2:1, and I’ll talk about co-contribution shortly. And for Stream 1 projects, these must be completed by the 30th of June 2022.
So what will be funded? And this is the fun part and the part that I get excited about. So projects funded under Stream 1 need to meet the objectives that we talked about earlier, and they need to focus on at least one of these areas. Feasibility studies, materials efficiency and flow assessments, business case development, accessing business advisory and support services, or pilot projects and trials.
So as you can see, all of these kind of activities are focused on building a business case, something that you are going to want to implement at a later time and you’re looking for what that opportunity is for the circular economy, either within your business or across a supply chain, or with multiple businesses across a supply chain. You’re developing the business case to later implement, and that’s the crux of the Stream 1 grant.
Now we will only fund costs directly related to the project.
The type of costs that could be included under Stream 1 funding include things like capital purchases for small-scale demonstrations or pilots, consultancy or contract work. So this is something like if you want to engage a consultant to help you on a feasibility study or to help you develop a business case. That’s certainly something that we’ll be funding under these grants. Business case development, as I just mentioned, is definitely in scope. Looking for advisory and support services for your business case and business idea are totally fine as well. Leasing and financing equipment for the duration of the project, conducting research and design on adapting and applying circular economy approaches. And when we talk about adapting and applying circular economy approaches, we’re talking about there is a circular economy idea out there. Maybe there’s a business model that you’ve seen, or maybe you know about materials efficiency assessment. It’s looking at these things that are already happening within the circular economy and trying to bring them to your business or to your industry or supply chain. We will fund demonstration, so trials and pilots, and we’ll also fund marketing, advertising and promotional costs of any new product services models or markets that are established through the grants. Although that’s a little bit more related to the Stream 2 project.
So that brings me across to Stream 2. So I just want to remind you the objective for Stream 2 is to actually increase the uptake of circular economy opportunities and approaches, to accelerate Victoria’s transition to a circular economy. So this is about taking those business cases, those feasibility studies, those materials efficiency assessments and the like, and accelerating them into action.
Now it’s not a prerequisite that you complete a Stream 1 grant before applying to a Stream 2 grant, but to implement a project and to receive funding in this stream, you really must have a clear evidence base to show that you have a viable project, a commercial project, and one that’s based on an existing circular economy approach or opportunity. These must be focused in Victoria, again, at least 50% in Victoria, and the benefits need to be seen in Victoria. They cannot have started or completed before the funding agreement is signed, and you must meet or exceed the co-contribution requirement, which is actually 1:1 on Stream 2. Apologies for the typo on this screen. We’ll go into co-funding agreements in a moment. They must be completed by the 31st
of December 2022, so you’ve actually got six months longer to complete these projects than you do in Stream 1.
Now what will be funded under Stream 2? So projects under Stream 2 should focus on at least one of these areas. That’s setting up a new circular economy-based establishment. So you might want to set up a whole new business built on the ideals of a circular economy. You could extend an existing circular economy-based establishment. So let’s say for example you’re already operating in a circular economy and you want to grow your business. You could apply for funding.
These grants are to diversify the output of an establishment into new additional circular economy‑based products, services, models or markets. So you might be a manufacturer at the moment or a retailer, and you want to develop a new product or service that is based on the circular economy. It might be a little bit of a pivot to your current business model, but it’s something that you’re excited about and you want some support to help realise. These grants would fund that. And finally, these grants are to improve circular economy-based outcomes within existing establishments. That could be within a business, within a group of businesses, or across a supply chain.
Now projects funded under Stream 2 must achieve at least one of these targets, and this is a requirement of the grant, so it’s something that you must be able to achieve through your grant application. So I’ll give you a couple of minutes just to have a look through the slide as I read through slowly.
So the grants must do one of these things. Reduce generation of product or material waste by 750 tonnes per year. So that’s about preventing waste, reducing waste that’s happening at the moment, and you need to do that by 750 tonnes a year at least. You could reduce the materials intensity of a product, service or model by at least 750 tonnes a year, and that’s looking at making something or performing a service with less resources than you currently need to do that service or product. You could focus on redistributing materials or products to prevent waste by at least 750 tonnes per year. So an example of this would be the likes of the food rescue and recovery industry. Food that was destined to go to landfill, they can intervene, rescue that food and redistribute it to people to stop it going to waste.
We’re looking at projects for reuse, remanufacture, or upcycling of materials or products, again by at least 750 tonnes per year. And then we have two different areas where we’re looking to increase processing capacity. So that could be capacity to prevent waste or to reuse, remanufacture, redistribute, or upcycle materials or products. Or to increase capacity to recycle materials or products that are currently wasted, through new and innovative solutions. For these we’re looking for an increase in processing capacity of 2,500 tonnes each year. So that might be building a new facility that can take these products and turn them into something new, instead of them being sent to waste.
So, similar to Stream 1 grants, only direct project costs can be funded. This includes costs like capital purchases, consultancy or contract work, dedicated project management costs, leasing or financing equipment for the duration of a project, and as I touched on earlier, marketing, advertising and promotional costs of the new product services models or markets that you’ve established through these grants. We don’t only want to support you to build the new circular economy idea, we want to support you to promote it, so all Victorians can participate and be aware of this new circular economy opportunity.
Now, what won’t be funded? So for both streams, funding will not be provided for projects that have received funding or support for the same activities from other sources. Now this includes projects that have been awarded funding through other RV programs administered by SV. We won’t be providing funding for retrospective funding, so where the project has commenced or completed before signing a funding agreement with SV, as I was harping on before about. We won’t provide funding for operating costs, so existing staff costs, for example salaries. We won’t be providing funding for rent, electricity, water and other utilities. We won’t provide funding for leasing or purchasing of land, for travel, conferences and other educational activities, nor for the purchases of any vehicles.
Funding won’t be provided for projects focused on the following, and this is important to keep note of, because these are a lot of the questions that were coming through yesterday as well. So I’m going to go through these point by point. So we’re not going to provide funding for existing waste recycling solutions in Victoria, so for example composting. We’re looking at bringing new innovations to the circular economy in Victoria, not just building on those already here. Waste recovery and waste-to-energy are not in scope. We won’t provide funding to those projects. Bioenergy or biofuel production, waste disposal. So we’re not looking to give money towards building a new incineration facility, a new landfill or waste to sewer. Products or materials that are not currently wasted. We’re only focusing on products and materials that are wasted. If it’s not wasted at the moment, you won’t be able to apply for funding for the project. We’re looking at reducing waste in Victoria, and that’s a key flagship of this program.
So the development of specifications and standards cannot be funded. Solutions for household kerbside collections, litter and illegal dumping, compliance with regulation or a regulatory notice or order, or meeting minimum regulatory or industry requirements. They’re things that you have to do already, so you can’t access funding for these. Now community-focused share or repair initiatives will not be supported by this program. Routine or cyclical maintenance works, nor projects solely focused on water, energy or greenhouse gas emissions.
Now I want to be quite clear with this last point. We’re not going to fund you to develop a new windfarm. We would be very happy if these things were co-benefits of your project focused on waste reduction. So for example, if you targeted reducing food waste by 1,000 tonnes a year and that food waste was going to landfill, there would be a noticeable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and potentially improvements on water as well. So as co-benefits to your project, we’re going to be asking you questions in your application to help articulate what they may be. They just can’t be the main focus of your project. You do need to focus on what the objectives of the grant are, so on reducing waste.
Now co-contribution. So in Stream 1, co-contribution is 2:1. Now this means for every $2 that you apply for in your grant funding, you and your project partners need to provide a minimum of $1 in co-contribution towards the project. Now up to 50% of that co-contribution can be in-kind. Now in-kind means the component of the contribution can be goods or services other than money. I’ll talk about that in a second. Now for Stream 2, the co-contribution is 1:1, meaning that you must match or exceed the grant funding with your own contribution dollar to dollar. For every dollar you apply for in funding, you need to throw in at least $1 as well. Up to 10% of your co-contribution can be provided in kind, and the remainder must be a financial contribution.
Now in-kind costs can include existing staff time or time spent by volunteers, or donated goods or services. You cannot claim any operating expenses that are not directly associated with delivering the project, or opportunity costs such as staff downtime during the installation of equipment or the implementation of activities.
So applications will be assessed by a panel in a competitive, merit-based assessment. The application seeks answers for the panel to understand the what, the who, the why, the how and the how much of your project. You’ll need to answer each section of the application to allow us to assess which projects best meet the fund outcomes and maximise public value. There are a variety of questions. We will ask you to demonstrate how your project delivers on these criteria.
We’re going to be asking you ‘what’. So applications must demonstrate how the project meets Recycling Victoria policy and SV’s strategic objectives for this fund which we introduced earlier. That’s weighted at 45%.
The ‘who’. So who is the individual applicant or the lead applicant and project partners? Can they deliver the project? Do they have the capability and the capacity to deliver the project?
‘Why’? Why is this project needed? And to what extent will it deliver the desired outcomes and support Victorian businesses to take advantage of circular economy opportunities?
And ‘how’? How is this project commercial? How is it feasible and how is it capable of being delivered?
I’m not going to go through every question on the application form, but there are quite a few there. So I would encourage you to visit the website to read through the guidelines and application form to see the kind of questions that we’re looking for. You can also visit SmartyGrants to preview or start an application and read through some of the questions that we’re going to ask to find out more details on these points. We’re also going to be assessing projects for value-for-money. This isn’t a weighted criteria, and this is about how the funding requested provides value for money to Victorians.
So one recommendation I do have for you here is, to make sure you answer all the questions in the application form. That is mandatory. But to keep your answers clear and concise, because we may not be able to come back to you to ask any more details once the application’s closed.
So a risk-based approach will be used to assess the applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the project. That is, if an application has been identified to have some compliance issues during an assessment, it doesn’t make it ineligible, however it does indicate a level of risk associated with the proposal. This assessment will include the applicant’s related entities and may include project partners. Applicants must clearly declare any compliance issues with EPA and WorkSafe, and provide evidence of financial viability. You will also need to provide insurances and declare any conflicts of interest. Your project delivery history with the SV funding programs may also be considered.
So, to the application process. So the first part of the application process is shown here. First things first, and super important, you need to check that you are eligible to apply. Now you’re only going to figure this out by really reading through the eligibility criteria clearly, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email our grants enquiries team. We’ll put a link in the chat box so you can refer to that quite easily. But first things first, and what we hear time and time again, is that a lot of questions come through that are quite clearly articulated in the guidelines and application forms, so I please ask you to read those first. And if you’re finding you can’t figure out whether or not your project actually meets the eligibility criteria or you have questions, feel free to flick it through to the grants enquiries team.
Second thing. Ensure your project meets the assessment criteria, then read the terms and conditions, read and understand the terms of participation, and plan, research and gather the information that you will need for your application form.
So when you’re ready to go, register or login to SmartyGrants if you already have one. If you need support setting up an account, you can contact our grants enquiries email or our 1300 number, or you can contact SmartyGrants directly if you’re having a problem with the system. We recommend you allow ample time to upload and submit your application, and please, please, please do not leave this to the last day. We will not accept late applications. We cannot accept late applications through SmartyGrants. They will be closing sharp at 3:00 pm on March 12.
Now I know this seems like a long time away from now. Trust me. That time will fly, particularly as you start getting your application through the system, working out answers to your questions and uploading the required information. I would make sure you aim to have that at least a week before the applications close, but you can start submitting from today, and you can continue working on your application and saving it along the way too.
Once you complete and submit your application via SmartyGrants, you’ll receive an electronic reply acknowledging receipt from SmartyGrants. The grants enquiries email is available on screen now, as is the 1300 number.
So key dates. Now key dates for both Stream 1 and Stream 2 are exactly the same, except when projects must be completed by. So I’ll walk through Stream 1 as an example. Stream 1 applications are now open and have been open since the 20th of November. Today you’re at the information session. We will be having another information session in February, and depending on how much need there is through grants enquiries, we may have another one in January. Applications close Friday the 12th of March 2021 at 3:00 pm. You’ll be notified of an outcome on Wednesday, 21st
of July 2021, and at this point we can start developing those contracts with you. Projects must start by Thursday the 11th of November 2021. And projects must be completed in Stream 1 by the 30th of June 2022, and in Stream 2 by the 31st of December 2022.
Now we’ve given indicative dates here for projects to be started by the 11th of November next year. That might seem like a little while away. If a funding agreement is finalised and signed by all parties before this date, it may commence ahead of this date, but not before a notification of outcome nor before the contract is finalised. In no circumstances can the project commence before funding agreement is finalised and signed.
Now we’ve got a list of commonly asked questions, things that have been coming through the grants enquiries line, and things that we know are commonly asked with grants applications.
So I’m going to read through these now, and then we’re going to kick over to you, because I know you’ve been asking some questions in the Q&A, and I’m sure you have a few more to ask. So examples of collaborative partnerships.
Question: Can you provide an example of a collaborative partnership?
So that might be an industry group with a lead applicant forming a collaborative partnership with ten of their industry members, each being an individual business. And potentially there’s a consultant to deliver a waste reduction project across multiple businesses. Or it could be a large food manufacturing company forming a collaborative partnership with three of their primary produce suppliers, each being an individual business.
Question: What are the responsibilities of the lead applicant?
So the lead applicant is the listed applicant for the purposes of an application, and is responsible for all of the details in the submission of an application. The lead applicant will be responsible for the contractual obligations of the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding. Now the lead applicant is also responsible for managing the project outcomes and deliverables, including those if you’ve engaged in a collaborative partnership.
Question: So can I be a project partner in more than one project or funding application?
For sure you can. You can be a project partner in more than one application, but please note you are required to outline the resources and capabilities of the lead applicant and each project partner, and what they will contribute to the project. These are questions that we’ll be asking you in the application form.
Question: Can you submit multiple applications for different projects?
For sure. Eligible organisations can submit multiple applications for different projects. For example, you could apply to both the Stream 1 and the Stream 2 grant, or you could apply for a business support fund grant and an innovation grant for different projects.
As I’ve explained, all applications will be assessed using the contested process and the merit criteria in the fund guidelines.
Question: Can a single funding application include funding for multiple projects?
No, that’s not possible. A funding application can only include funding for one project, however that project could have multiple elements.
So for example, your project might involve first conducting a materials efficiency assessment, and then looking at a feasibility study to implement a known technology to fix that waste issue that you’ve identified, and then pulling together the business case with the use of consultancy services, all to pull together a business case that would then later be implemented.
Question: Can you apply for multiple grants?
Yes. You can apply for multiple grants if they’re for different projects. You cannot apply for funding for the same project in more than one of Sustainability Victoria’s funding programs. Each funding program has different objectives, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria, and your application should be specific to the funding program you’re applying for.
Now if you have submitted an application to another sustainability funding program and now find that this program is more relevant and suitable, you can withdraw your other application by emailing email@example.com.
Now probably the last question, the one that we hear the most is:
Question: Can SV review a draft of my grant application?
No, we can’t. I’m sorry. This is a competitive process. We are unable to review a draft or to provide any feedback on the merit of your project. So we encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets all eligibility criteria, and to describe the project and how it addresses the merit criteria outlined in the fund guideline and application form.
That ends the commonly asked questions. So I’m going to open this to the floor and see what questions are coming through. Guy, I believe you might have a few questions lined up for me already?
Yes. Thanks. Thanks, Travis. We’ve got a few questions already here. There’s been quite a few questions posted here. We will try to get to them all, but I will just mention now that if they’re not covered here – and we’ll try and get to as many as possible – they will be published on the website, in the information bulletin on the Grants page as well.
So the first question here, Travis, coming through is from Nathan, and he’s wondering if the funds will cover a consultancy to help identify opportunities for – and sorry. I’ve just lost it again. I’ll go back. Nathan.
Question: Can funding be used to engage a consultancy to identify opportunities for our business?
A consultancy is definitely in-scope for either Stream 1 or Stream 2 applications. As noted, a consultancy must be part of a collaborative partnership. So if you’re asking whether or not as a consultancy you can apply within your own business to reduce waste, I would say yes, you can apply as a business, as your own business and not as a consultancy, to reduce waste within your own business. So let’s say you were a consultancy and you have 10,000 tonnes of waste that you generate each year within your own business. You could certainly apply for either a Stream 1 or Stream 2 grant. And if you’re a consultancy looking to support another business to reduce waste, yes you can apply as a lead applicant, with that other business being your project partner.
So as I mentioned earlier, if you conduct things like materials efficiency assessments, you could pull together a small group of project partners, form an alliance and a collaborative partnership and apply for a grant together, with you being the lead applicant.
Thanks. Thanks Travis. There’s another question here from Rachel about:
Question: What grant would be best option for a waste-to-energy project that focuses on
converting food waste into energy products?
And I’ll just mention there too, there are quite a few other questions around waste-to-energy. I’m quite happy to answer this one if you want, Travis, or do you want to handle that one?
No. For sure. Take it.
I’ll take this one. Encouraging appropriate waste-to-energy is part of the Recycling Victoria policy, but it’s not an eligible project under this grant round. We’re focusing here on the business area and also on that sort of circular economy area.
There is some concern with waste-to-energy projects, about overinvestment in waste to energy infrastructure in the short term. So what is happening at the moment is we’ll be developing a waste-to-energy framework that will guide the development of those projects. So it is in the Recycle Victoria policy, and it’s acknowledged there. If you have detailed questions on that, we can give you the right contact in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning about those projects.
But for this grant fund, waste-to-energy projects aren’t eligible.
I’ll come down. Some other questions. One here from Matthew.
Question: Research organisations are not mentioned. Does this mean universities are excluded from partnerships in this fund, or can universities then act as consultants?
And there are I think a couple of questions around a similar sort of theme in there as well. Travis?
Yeah. Okay. Thanks for that question. It is a really good question. Unlike in the Innovation Fund, we haven’t allowed for universities and research institutions to apply for grants in the stream. I do acknowledge that universities, as you mentioned, often play a consultancy role for businesses, particularly around the circular economy. So I think what I’d like to do is take that question on notice and talk with the team afterwards, and I’d be happy to provide a written response back on the information bulletin available on the website, which should be updated within the next week or so. So thanks for the question, and definitely taking that on notice.
Thanks Travis. Just another quick question.
Question: Do social enterprises fit under charities or not-for-profits?
Yes. Yep. Or under a business.
Nice easy one there.
A question from Fay.
Question: Does this mean councils or local government entities will not be funded if they are partners on the project?
I can answer that one too. I see it’s been provided. Under Stream 1 and Stream 2, local government will not be funded. But I will mention that there are further announcements to be made in the future about other funding sources, and it would be worth keeping up with developments there. When we know a bit more, we will be publishing the other grant rounds that will be available as well on the Sustainability Victoria website, so we will let you know on that one.
A question from Alice.
Question: Can the project be a mix of fund objectives?
Yeah. It certainly can. Like we mentioned before, projects have a requirement to target at least one or something of the objectives. Please read through the guidelines and application form to see what’s in scope, what we will fund, and it could definitely meet on multiple objectives. What we need to be very clear on though, one project cannot apply as something that is going to be an Identification grant and an Implementation grant. So you can’t have one project looking to go through feasibility and materials assessment and then implement the solution. They would need to be two different programs.
Excellent. Thanks. A question along similar lines from Wendy. Travis, you say that all of the benefits had to be for Victoria, and she says:
Question: I find it hard to see how with an Identification grant all benefits could accrue to just one state. Could you just please clarify what you mean by that?
Yep. I sure can Wendy. Thanks for that question. It’s a really great clarifying question.
So for both Stream 1 and Stream 2, we’re looking for at least 50% of the project to be focused in Victoria, and for the minimum amount of benefits to be delivered in Victoria. So for example, under Stream 2, if you were focusing on a waste reduction project, we need you to reduce waste in Victoria by 750 tonnes each year. If that project also had benefits to New South Wales, to Queensland, to SA, that’s okay, as long as you’re meeting the minimum requirements in Victoria, and then at least 50% of the project is focused in Victoria. So apologies. I did say all benefits earlier. What I should have said is that the minimum benefits are achieved in Victoria. And I very much understand that for national, even multi-national companies with supply chains, if you implement a change to your supply chain, that might have benefits across Australia and even internationally. We’re looking to make sure some of those benefits, at least 50%, are captured within Victoria, or that you can meet the minimum benefit in Victoria.
I hope that answers your question. And we’ll provide a little bit more detail on that in the information bulletin, because I think it’s a really great question.
Thanks Travis. Another question from Helen.
Question: If you applied for a Stream 1 grant to formulate a circular economy plan, do you simultaneously apply for a Stream 2 grant to implement it, or wait for the outcome of the Stream 1 plan?
That’s a really good question. What we would be – one of the requirements of the Stream 2 grant is that you need to have the evidence base already built before you can apply for that Stream 2 grant. There will be multiple rounds of funding. At the moment we’re looking at two to three rounds of funding over the four-year Recycling Victoria program. So it’s our every intention to start seeing Stream 1 grants in the first year, then applying for Stream 2 grants maybe in year two or year three of the program in the next funding rounds. I think your question, the answer would be no. You couldn’t simultaneously apply, because if you’re looking to conduct the feasibility assessment in the Stream 1 grants, you’re not going to have the outcome of that ready to then engage the implementation of that project.
Alright. A question from Anonymous.
Question: Will operational costs or staff be recognised as an in-kind contribution?
Yep. That’s a great question. The in-kind definition that we’re using I described earlier. Staff costs directly associated with the project will be recognised as in-kind. We won’t be providing funding from the grants for any kind of existing staff costs and operational costs.
A question from Asha.
Question: Is production of oil from plastics waste considered waste-to-energy?
That’s a bit of a specific one there, Travis. Maybe we could take that one on notice.
That is a specific one that we might take on notice. My initial gut feeling would be no, as I believe that would be a biofuel production from waste, which would be out of scope. But I’m happy to consult with the team and we’ll provide an update on the information bulletin to see whether or not that kind of project could be in scope.
Yeah. Along similar lines.
Question: Will Stream 2 fund food waste diverted by AD (anaerobic digestion)?
Great question, and no.
Again, it’s the same answer with the waste to energy facilities. A question here from Jason.
Question: If we have a Victorian-designed and manufactured innovation that improves the way we compost, why would you not want to encourage that?
I think the waste-to-energy questions and the organics and composting ones are covered by either the waste-to-energy policy that’s in the Recycling Victoria there, or there are other funding sources for those solutions.
I’m just going through seeing these ones.
Another question about:
Question: What is the addressable market size for the funding being allocated? That is, how do you validate reduction in waste generation to a specific threshold that the funding is aiming to achieve?
I think it’s asking about what is the threshold that we’re going to look at in terms of how much waste is saved or diverted, I think that question is asking.
Yeah. That’s a good question and a complicated question. I think in the design of the grants, what we have looked at is the kinds of circular economy projects available globally, the kinds of things that we want to be bringing into Victoria, and an assessment of the state of play in Victoria with things like food waste or textile waste, plastic waste, construction waste. What is the ability for us to move forward to reduce that waste through these different kinds of projects, and what kind of funding could support businesses to tackle that?
Now we have some pretty firm targets for the fund in general on what we’re aiming to achieve with waste reduction and with increased processing capacity, kind of being the two flagship indicators that we’re looking for. That’s based on a certain amount of projects and a certain amount of funding being allocated to those projects. What we will do after round one is actually evaluate the kind of projects that came through, and we might switch around the program in the second round of funding or the third round of funding. If we’re finding that the funding amount or the projects coming in don’t meet those requirements for the fund, to flex them and make them work a little bit better for the fund or for industry.
Thanks Travis. A question from Anonymous.
Question: Is end-of-life tyres recycling applicable for this grant?
If it is a new innovation and creates a new recycling market, that could certainly be in scope for the grant. If end-of-life tyres are currently being recycled already, and it’s just looking at expanding that kind of process on recycling, I would say no. With recycling, we are looking for creating new recycling markets in Victoria. So something that couldn’t be recycled at the moment that is going to waste, they’re the kinds of things that we’re looking to support through these grants. If you can identify that there is an opportunity that these tyres are not being recycled, we would just ask you to articulate that in your grant application.
A question from Ivana.
Question: Are SV able to set up a forum for today’s session for attendees to have the opportunity to contact each other? They’re all going after the same goal. Maybe there’s a collaborator in there that we haven’t met yet.
That is a fantastic question. Thank you for asking it. It’s something that we’ve been brainstorming in the project team at the moment under the CEBIC, or the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre, is, how do we better support you to collaborate. Right now we don’t have that forum available on the website. It’s something that I’m really glad you asked, because we’re always keen on getting user research to understand what kind of features that you want and how the CEBIC can actually help you achieve your goals. So definitely will be taking that on notice, taking it back to the project team and our IT team to see how we can do something like that.
Apologies that we can’t do that at the moment, but if you are looking at project partners and want to talk about collaboration opportunities, what I would recommend that you do, and invite you to do, is visit the website, click on the Contact Us button, and then actually set up a one-on-one time to either chat with myself or the other program lead on the CEBIC, Mel, and we can have a conversation with you about potential opportunities to link you up with different project partners and collaborators. It’s something that we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks through that feature and we are really excited about continuing doing. So that’s a service that we’re happy to offer at the moment, which will be a one-on-one service.
Thanks. Thanks, Travis, for that. There are quite a few questions which are very detailed here, and I think we will need to be able to respond to those in a bit more detail as well. So if they’re not answered here, we will be answering those questions in the bulletin. So just to let you know, because there are quite a lot of detailed ones.
There are quite a few questions too around the requirements for IP, intellectual property. I’d suggest if you have got concerns about that, the best thing to do is talk to our grants teams. So go through to the grants enquiries if they’re more specific around concerns over that.
Question: Is plastic recycling eligible to get funded under this grant?
Yeah. That’s a good question. I would say no, if that’s just an existing plastic recycling option. Obviously in Victoria at the moment we have co-mingled recycling, we have soft plastic recycling through Red Cycle. If there is a kind of plastic that is not recycled at the moment and you’re looking to bring an innovation to increase the amount of plastic that can be recycled in the state, that’s certainly something that might be in scope for these projects. You would need to articulate in your application, if you are keen to apply, how you would be innovating an expanding the recycling markets in Victoria to allow for the recycling of a product that’s not currently recycled. That’s probably my advice to you on that.
I might quickly touch on the IP point that Guy mentioned before. We will write back to that as well, but unlike the Innovation Fund grants, we don’t have any requirements that you need to share IP through this program. It’s not one of the requirements of the Business Support Grant. So if you do develop IP or purchase IP, own IP etcetera, we’re not asking that you have to share that with the public or with Sustainability Victoria.
Alright. Travis, there are quite a few more questions, but we might just take a few more. A question about timing.
Question: Could a Stream 1 application be assessed, approved earlier than the 21st of the 7th?
No. The guidelines there on when you’ll be notified are firm. We acknowledge that they are a little long in the tooth to get that information back to you, and I’m sure you’re excited to get started on your project as much as we’re excited to get the project started ourselves. But because of the process involved and all of the due diligence, the approval steps and making sure we get the right projects and do the right checks and balances, that’s unfortunately what the timeline is going to be like. From the point that you were notified, if we can get a contract up, signed by all parties within weeks after that notification, there’s no reason that we couldn’t start the project as soon as that is commenced, bringing it back from the 11th of November, which is the last day that projects have to actually commence.
Alright. Another question about:
Question: Can you please confirm how we register with SmartyGrants?
And I see Mel has just answered that one. You can register via the link which is now in the chat there on sustainabilityvictoria.smartygrants.com.au, and you can go through that process to register there.
Question: Is there a preference or priority for particular material types?
Awesome. Thank you, Guy. That is a great question. No. Any material, any product, any industry, any business can apply if you have an issue with waste. We don’t care if that’s food waste, if it’s textile, construction, etcetera. Please feel free to apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. In the Innovation Fund there is a priority stream focused on food waste, and that is because under the CEBIC there is a priority focus on food waste, and we’ve reserved a bit of money to support those food waste-based projects. But if you have a food waste project, please apply for the Business Support grants if you think that is a more appropriate channel. Similarly if you have an issue with any kind of waste or a solution for waste, you can apply for either of the Stream 1 or Stream 2 Business Support Fund grants.
Thanks Travis. Another quick question from Anthea.
Question: If your not-for-profit is a lead organisation, is it okay to have local government authorities as partners on the application?
Thanks for that one, Anthea. A local government or any government entity will not be provided funding under these grants. You could have a non-funded project partner working with you and supporting your project. I think that would be fine. But we cannot provide funding or set up a contractual arrangement that involves an official project partner on a contract, I don’t believe. I’m happy to take that one on notice to provide a little bit more information in the information bulletin, but funding quite clearly will not be provided to government entities.
A question around definitions of consultancies.
Question: What do you define as a consultancy? Do you mean a sole trader or do you mean a knowledge work firm? So would design firms also be eligible?
That’s a really good question. I think it depends on what the nature of the relationship is between the lead applicant and the project partner. The way that we’ve been considering a consultant is someone that is providing a service to help a business, so to help one of the project partners achieve an outcome. So if that is working as a sole trader or as a consultancy firm, both might be in scope. You will just need to articulate what that relationship is, and that’s probably where we’re asking questions on that ‘who’ in the application. So who are you? What are the capabilities, and what’s the capacity to support the project?
If you wanted to ask a more detailed question, more than happy for you to send that through to grants enquiries, or we’ll take that on notice and have a look afterwards and post something to the information bulletin as well.
A question from Carol.
Question: Will the using of recycling materials in a project on solar energy be in scope for the grant?
Thank you for that question. Will re-using materials on a product in solar energy be in scope? Yeah. I’m just having a think about that one. It might be something we need to take on notice. I mean the kind of projects that we are supporting are waste prevention involving reuse, remanufacture, upcycling, innovative approaches to recycling. I guess it depends where that reuse is coming from. Is it going to reduce waste that’s generated at the moment, or is it using recycled materials back into a product? And that might be the point of difference. More than happy to take that one on notice and respond back to it on the information bulletin on the website, which I mentioned will be available by some time next week.
Thanks, Travis. And we might just take one or two more. There’s one here from Karen.
Question: Existing recycling businesses who want to enhance their productivity or
improve their processes, are they eligible for these grants?
I think if you’re currently operating as a recycling business or recycling facility and you want to expand your facility, I would say no. If you are a recycling facility that wanted to diversify into a brand new area, so for example you currently recycle glass and you want to diversify to recycle something that isn’t recycled at the moment, that could certainly be in scope, if you can show that that’s an innovation within the recycling market that’s increasing recycling market capacity and processing capacity in Victoria.
Alright. And one more, Travis, from Athena.
Question: Can you please clarify eligible activities such as community-focused share or repair initiatives by providing an example?
So community-focused share and repair initiatives were ineligible. They were out of scope for this project. So I’m not sure about providing an example there, as it’s out of scope, but what I can say is that under Recycling Victoria, there are other programs coming out focused on community, focused on local government as well. I would strongly encourage you to have a look through Recycling Victoria policy, Recycling Victoria: A New Economy, and have a look through those programs to see what might be coming out in terms of other programs that you could participate on in that more community-based area.
Thanks, Travis. There are a number of other questions there that are more specific that we will be providing some answers to in that bulletin, and we will provide some written answers for those ones. But I think that’s the majority of them there though. So back to you, Travis.
Thanks for that, Guy. Well I would love to say thank you very much for attending today’s information session and for those great questions and very pointed questions. I hope we were able to answer some of them. Some of those more technical and tricky ones, we will be working on as a project team over the next couple of days to come up with responses to draft all of the questions that were asked today, answer them directly or thematically, and post that up to the information bulletin which is available on the CEBIC website, so cebic.vic.gov.au/grants, if you wanted to jump directly into the grants page.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Thank you’, ‘It’s up to all of us to help shape the State of the Future’, ‘f @SustainVic’, ‘t @sustainVic’, ‘ln Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’]
[End of transcript]
Please note: On 16 February 2021, a second virtual information session was hosted by SV. This session was a repeat of the first information session, with minor differences. You can refer to the updated information bulletin for FAQs raised at the second session.
A recording of the second information session is available on request. If you require a transcribed copy, this is also available with a lead time of 5 business days. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to access the recording.
Learn more about how to prepare your application for this grant.
Can I submit multiple applications for different projects?
Yes, eligible organisations can submit multiple applications for different projects. Please note: eligible applications will be assessed in a contested process against the merit criteria listed in the Guidelines.
When will I know the outcome of my application?
Applicants will be notified of outcomes on or by Wednesday 21 July 2021.
Will you accept late applications?
Late applications will not be accepted unless exceptional circumstance apply (see our Terms of Participation Grant Programs for further detail). Our online grant application portal will not accept applications lodged after the closing date and time. We recommend that you submit your application well before the closing time. Refer to the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs for further details. Note the closing date for this program is 12 March 2021.
When will funding applications be assessed?
Applications will be assessed against the weighted/merit criteria. The time between receipt, assessment and decision will be subject to a variety of factors including the number and quality of applications received. Applicants will be updated about the status of their application by Wednesday 21 July at the latest.
Is an EOI process involved in the fund application or can businesses apply now?
The application does not include an EOI process. Both grant streams are now open and will close on 12 March 2021 at 3:00 pm. Please see the grant information pages for key dates.
If I apply for a Stream 1 grant to formulate a circular economy plan, should I simultaneously apply for a Stream 2 grant to implement it?
No. This situation is unlikely as to apply for a Stream 2 grant, you must have the evidence base to show this solution can be implemented. Under this scenario, you would need to develop the evidence base first (Stream 1) before you could apply for funding to implement the solution (Stream 2). There will be multiple rounds of funding to support Stream 1 applicants in applying for a Stream 2 grant in subsequent rounds.
Is there a template or an online form to fill as part of my grant application?
To apply, you will need to register an account online through SmartyGrants, our online grants portal. Once you’re logged in, click on Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund and choose the stream you’re applying for (Stream 1 or Stream 2).
Is the time between notification of outcome and project commencement fixed, or could a project commence before 11 November 2021?
If a project agreement is finalised and signed by all parties prior to November 11, it may commence earlier. Sustainability Victoria cannot provide any guarantees regarding how long this will take as each contract negotiation and development is different and there may be other applications also in development during this time. We recommend your application is as clear and complete as possible to help expedite the contract development phase.
Can applications be approved before Wednesday 21 July 2021?
We cannot advise if applicants will be notified earlier than this time, but due to the amount of applications received and internal processes to ensure due diligence, it is unlikely you will be notified before this date.
We have already identified the need for investment and completed a feasibility assessment. Can we go straight to Stream 2 with our application?
If you have already completed assessments and can provide evidence of the solution to justify its implementation, you can apply directly for Stream 2.
Could you please explain what applicants need to consider when it comes to the Local Jobs First Policy (LJF) as mentioned in the guidelines?
The Local Jobs First Policy is applicable when the Victorian Government contribution meets the monetary threshold of $1 million. The Policy is about creating opportunities for local businesses and workers with the aim to develop the local industry and grow the next generation of skilled workers in Victoria.
Is an applicant required to be registered in Victoria?
No, applicants can be registered outside of Victoria but must have a current and valid ABN. Applicants need to ensure that 50% of the project activity is completed within Victoria and that all the benefits of the project are delivered in Victoria.
Can Sustainability Victoria review a draft of my grant application?
No, this being a competitive process, we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project.
We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addresses the merit criteria outlined in the Guidelines and Application Form.
Who can I contact for assistance or further information?
Please email email@example.com and quote Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund or phone 1300 363 744 and ask to speak to a grants representative.
How can I connect with other potential collaborators through the CEBIC on potential group projects?
This is something the team is working on. For the moment, we are happy to offer a one-to-one service if you contact us. Please feel free to book a chat with us via the website by visiting the Contact us page.
Where can I find more information about the Recycling Victoria (RV) Innovation Fund?
You can find information on all grant streams, including the RV Innovation Fund, on the Grants page.
Who owns the intellectual property created out of the project?
In Sustainability Victoria’s grant funding agreements (both the short form for grants up to $50,000 and the long form for grants over $50,000), you (the grant recipient) will retain ownership of your IP.
If you are developing that IP or creating any new IP as part of the funded project, then the new IP that you create or develop is called “Project Intellectual Property”. Under the funding agreements, SV gets a (non-exclusive) licence to use this Project Intellectual Property for any purpose consistent with its general objectives. SV’s general objectives and its statutory functions are set out in the Sustainability Victoria Act 2005. It is not a general objective of SV to commercialise IP (whether our IP or yours) or to grant third parties the right to commercialise others’ IP. SV respects the intellectual property rights of owners and would not knowingly or intentionally do anything to infringe or undermine those rights. As a government entity, SV is required to act reasonably, honestly and ethically at all times and in the public interest.
Note that this is not intended to constitute legal advice to you. Should you have any particular concerns about the IP or other clauses or your rights under the funding agreement, you should consider obtaining independent legal advice.
Will Sustainability Victoria fund lease costs of equipment?
We will fund lease costs of equipment that are directly related to the project and for the duration of the project. For example, leasing equipment to complete a trial or pilot project.
SV will not fund long-term lease contracts, as this would be considered business-as-normal. The program will only fund the leasing costs for the duration of the project. If applicants would like to continue to lease the equipment, they can cover it at their own cost.
Can research organisations apply for a grant as a lead applicant or partner?
If a university is a business, charity, other not-for-profit or consultancy, they would meet this eligibility criteria. Government research organisations may not apply for a grant as a project partner or lead applicant but may informally participate in projects without receiving funding.
Can a consultant be the lead applicant in a partnership?
A consultant may be a lead applicant in a collaborative partnership with any approved project partner. Alternatively, a business may use the services of a consultant as a project activity (for example, to support a feasibility study or manage a project) and this could be funded. In this example, the consultant would not be a lead applicant or project partner; they would be a service provider for the applicant/s.
Do social enterprises fit in the category of ‘charities’ or ‘not-for-profit’?
Social enterprises are considered as businesses and are eligible to apply for this fund as a business.
Can a university research centre be a project partner?
Project partners can be the following organisation types: individual businesses, charities, other not-for-profit organisations, or industry groups and associations. If a university is one of these organisation types (for example, an incorporated business) they may apply as a lead applicant or project partner. If they are not one of these organisation types (for example, they are considered as a government entity), they may not apply. Only approved organisation types may apply as project partners and receive funding.
Will councils or any level of government be funded by these grants either as a lead applicant or project partner?
No. Government organisations will not be funded by Stream 1 or Stream 2 of the Business Support Fund as either a lead applicant or project partner. Government organisations may apply for the RV Innovation Fund and there may be future programs in Recycling Victoria that provide support for local governments.
Can I apply for a grant if my organisation has operated for less than two years?
For Stream 1, if you have been operating for less than two years, you can provide a company guarantee from an entity (Related Entity or Project Partner) that has been operating for more than two years. You will be able to apply for a grant of $75,000 only. This is outlined in the funding guidelines.
For Stream 2, your organisation must have been operating for a minimum of two years.
You need to have been operating for at least two years by the application closing date.
Are these grants solely targeting existing businesses that are already implementing circular initiatives? What if my business has already conducted testing to do something innovative that is not just ‘an upgrade’?
This funding is targeting eligible organisations that plan to reduce waste either within their business or more broadly. If your project has already gone through the feasibility stage and is seeking funding to scale up this solution, then a Stream 2 grant may be suitable. An example of this is: installing new equipment in a textile production facility so that clothes are made more efficiently and with less waste. If the solution is new, innovative and requires research and development, it may be more suited for the RV Innovation Fund.
If I represent an existing recycling business and I want to enhance our productivity or improve our processes, will we be eligible for these grants?
If you are operating as a recycling business and want to grow your current operations (for example, increase your commingled recycling capacity by 20%), then you would not be eligible.
If you are from a recycling facility that wants to diversify your business into a completely new recycling area that is not serviced in Victoria, this would be eligible. For example, you introduce an innovation that enables you to recycle a material not previously recycled in Victoria. Alternatively, you may choose to pivot your operations and develop a solution that prevents waste through reuse, remanufacture, redistribution or upcycling.
Can a self-employed consultant apply for funding if they assist industry partners in waste minimisation projects?
Yes, consultants may apply as a lead applicant, with businesses as their project partners. Alternatively, a business may engage a consultant and the engagement can be considered as a funded project activity, as a service.
As a sole trader, you will apply as a business. When filling in the application form, select ‘consultant’ from the field ‘Organisation type’.
What are the key differences between the type of projects for Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund and Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund?
Both of these funding programs were established through the Recycling Victoria policy to transform how our economy uses materials. Some of the key differences are:
Focus on material, product or sector
Expectation on innovation
For more details, view the Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund page.
Is biomass in scope as a waste material for this funding?
Any product or material currently wasted may be in scope for this funding. Applicants must demonstrate how this waste is currently treated (for example, sent to landfill or composted) and how the proposed solution will reduce this waste (for example, transforming this waste into a new product to prevent waste).
Are waste-to-energy projects able to apply for this funding?
Waste-to-energy projects are not eligible for the Business Support Fund. For other funding opportunities, please see Sustainability Victoria’s Grants section.
Why are waste-to-energy projects not eligible for these grants?
This program focuses primarily on reducing waste, not recovering resources from waste generated. This is aligned with the top of Environment Protection Authority (EPA) waste hierarchy (where prevention is the top priority) and the core principles of a circular economy – to prevent waste and pollution. We acknowledge for waste that cannot be prevented, waste-to-energy has a role to play in a circular economy; there are other programs within the Recycling Victoria policy that focus on waste-to-energy. For more information, please see the Victorian Government’s Transforming recycling in Victoria page.
Can projects focused on developing education about or guidelines for circular economy approaches apply for grants?
Projects must demonstrate how they will meet the funding objectives. Please read the guidelines and application form for each grant to better understand their requirements and eligibility criteria.
Can a project include a mix of fund objectives?
Yes. Projects can deliver on a range of fund objectives. An application cannot however include multiple projects in one application form, but a single project can include multiple elements (for example, installing equipment to make a new circular economy-based product, and marketing that product).
Can I apply for a project where benefits will be shared across multiple states of Australia?
At least 50% of the project must be focused within Victoria and the minimum benefits of the project must be achieved in Victoria. For example, a business implements a new refrigeration system to reduce waste during transport of food from Queensland to Victoria. This new change would also benefit other states. For Stream 2 funding, this project must reduce waste in Victoria by at least 750 tonnes per annum to meet the minimum benefits. If the project also reduces waste in New South Wales, this is OK and would be a good example of a circular economy supply chain solution. For this project, at least 50% of the activity should be focused on the transport into Victoria.
Could a project focused on software solutions for redistributing food apply for this Fund?
Yes, if the project meets all eligibility criteria. This Fund is looking to support waste reduction initiatives, including redistributing food to prevent waste.
Is production of oil from plastics waste considered waste-to-energy?
This is considered bioenergy production and is not in scope for the Business Support Fund.
Will this Fund support anaerobic digestion projects?
No. This is considered waste-to-energy and is out of scope for this Fund.
Will this Fund encourage industry to take up existing innovations and approaches to reuse waste streams or will only new innovations be supported?
The Business Support Fund will support the uptake and growth of already established circular economy solutions and approaches. This program will fund tried-and-tested approaches proven to reduce waste and to increase reuse, re-manufacture and upcycling. It will also support the development of new recycling systems in Victoria based on proven models, to create more recycling pathways for products and materials currently wasted.
Are once-off projects that reduce waste to landfill, for example by 100,000 tonnes, eligible for funding?
Stream 2 projects must deliver ongoing benefits to waste reduction. The grants will fund projects that contribute to Victoria’s target of reducing waste per capita by 15% and are seeking long-term solutions that eliminate waste by design, rather than focusing on short-term fixes. If your once-off waste reduction project can demonstrate how it will help prevent waste on an ongoing basis – for example by developing a new process that could be replicated by other businesses with similar waste stream – this could be in scope, but you must clearly articulate how the project will achieve these long-term goals.
Will this fund support existing waste recycling solutions (such as composting) in Victoria?
No. This Fund is primarily supporting waste prevention through waste reduction, reuse, remanufacture and upcycling. New approaches to recycling will be supported; for example, new systems or technologies that increase the range of products that could be recycled in Victoria. These new approaches must be based on evidence-based solutions in operation outside of Victoria.
Is end-of-life tyre recycling applicable for this grant?
If a project helps Victoria to recycle something that is not currently recyclable, this would be in scope, permitting the idea is based on an approach that is currently working outside of Victoria. If a product or material is already recycled in Victoria, this would not be in scope.
Are the funding schemes applicable to unregulated waste streams?
Yes. Any product or material waste is in scope for these grants. This does not need to be a regulated waste stream. In fact, we’re looking to prevent waste happening in the first place, which will help reduce the burden of waste on our existing waste and recycling system.
What products or materials are considered to be "not currently wasted"?
The aim of these grants is to ultimately eliminate waste in Victoria. This can occur by reducing waste in the first place or by facilitating the reuse, redistribution, remanufacture or upcycling of products or materials that are currently wasted (that is, sent to a waste processing destination such as landfill, the sewer or even a recycling facility). In a circular economy, we want products and materials to have long and high-value life cycles, not end up in landfill or recycled as a default option when that waste could be stopped or slowed.
If a project is implemented in Victoria but the waste reduction happens interstate or overseas, will this be funded?
No. The project must deliver minimum benefits to Victoria, for example by reducing waste in Victoria by 750 tonnes per annum. It the project delivers minimum benefits in Victoria and additional benefits outside Victoria, this would be eligible.
Is plastic recycling eligible for funding?
This is not likely. Plastic recycling or any other existing recycling solutions will not be funded. However, if there is a type of plastic that is not currently recycled in Victoria, and your solution will facilitate it being recycled in Victoria, this project could be eligible for funding.
For Stream 1, can I apply to do a business case study plus a proof of concept (for example, trial or demonstration) as the means to validate that business case?
Yes. You can apply for multiple project activities within one project. For example, a materials efficiency assessment; a feasibility study; a pilot project or trial.
Is the recovery of phosphorus and potassium from bioenergy within scope?
If these products are currently wasted and not recovered, then these would be considered a waste product. If your project seeks to reduce a waste product, this is in scope for both streams.
Will projects using recycled materials in the development of new products be in scope for this Fund?
No. Projects funded must ultimately reduce waste, increase materials efficiency (do more with less), or develop new recycling systems. Although using recycled materials is important in a circular economy, activities to minimise reliance on virgin materials do not support the objectives of the Fund. Under Recycling Victoria: a new economy, the Markets Acceleration Program does focus on end-markets for recycled materials and may have future support for these projects.
Do repurposed goods that are destined for waste need to be received and used in Victoria, or could they have been received from other states?
The minimum benefits of the project must be delivered in Victoria. For example, your project must reduce waste by 750 tonnes per annum in Victoria. If your project additionally reduces waste elsewhere, this would be acceptable if the minimum benefits have been achieved locally in Victoria.
If you prevent waste in Victoria by rescuing a product and redistributing for sale or donation to another state (if it is not managed as waste there), this may be in scope too; you may not simply redistribute waste across borders. For example, you rescue food from waste in Victoria and ship it to a buyer in Sydney where the food is consumed. In this example, the waste is prevented in Victoria and this meets the eligibility criteria.
Would projects that require less than the minimum grant amount be eligible for funding (even if the project may meet the objectives and outcomes)?
No, unfortunately all projects must apply for at least the minimum grant value. This is due to the administration required to manage a grant program as we are a small team and cannot process many smaller contracts. This may be reviewed in subsequent funding rounds.
You may be able to apply with project partners in a collaborative partnership to boost the size of your project and deliver even greater benefits than going solo. For example: implementing a waste reduction solution across multiple businesses or sites; engaging a materials efficiency assessment across multiple businesses in a supply chain.
Is the Fund technology-agnostic?
The Fund is agnostic about different solutions and technologies that prevent waste. All applications will be assessed based on merit criteria. We have largely excluded waste management systems, including recycling, as this has been a focus of investment in Victoria for many years. CEBIC aims to prevent waste so that waste does not need to be recycled; CEBIC also aims to extend the duration and value of a product or material so it has a longer useful life before it is recycled. For materials not currently recyclable in Victoria, the Fund will support innovations in the recycling market that allow new, additional products and materials to be recycled.
If we use recycled materials instead of virgin materials in our products, can we apply for these grants?
No, as this would not prevent waste. An example of a similar project that could be supported is: replacing plastic milk bottles with glass bottles that are delivered full, collected when empty, and reused. In this model, the new delivery-and-collection service is an example of a ‘reuse’ model where the packaging (the bottle) is reused repeatedly without needing to be recycled.
Do the targets need to be met within the first year of the project? OR is it sufficient if those targets are met once the project is complete?
Targets are related to project outcomes (benefits delivered by the proposed project). Project outcomes are likely to happen once the funded activity is completed (e.g. a processing facility is built). During the project, all these targets must be completed (e.g. the activities you seek funding for, with evidence of their completion).
Projects that have annual targets will need to be met yearly. We are seeking an ongoing system change. The outcomes (benefits) happen after you implement the project.
Your funding agreement will include certain milestones, and if a particular milestone depends on a specified amount of waste reduction, then these will need to be met. Each project will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Can you provide some examples of a collaborative partnership?
Some examples are:
A lead applicant can be an individual business, charity, other not-for-profit, industry group or association or a consultancy.
The lead applicant will need to provide evidence of the partnership or alliance and must have entered into a collaborative partnership agreement before signing the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria.
Can I be a project partner in more than one project or funding application?
Yes, you can be a project partner in more than one funding application. You may not however receive funding for the same activities across multiple applications.
Please note: each application requires the resources and capabilities the lead applicant and each project partner will contribute to the project.
Can collaborative partnerships include organisations from other states if the lead applicant and project are based in Victoria?
Applicants may be based in Victoria or in another state. We understand many organisations have national operations and that supply chains are both national and international. We cannot fund international organisations as we cannot complete due diligence on their business operations, but national organisations may apply for grants if at least 50% of the project activity and minimum project benefits are delivered in Victoria (where applicable).
The lead applicant and all project partners must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN).
Are contractors considered to be Project Partners?
As a lead applicant, you may be applying with a contractor to carry out a project, in which case this would be defined as a project partner. Alternatively, contractors can be part of the activities that you apply for; they do not need to be project partners. For example, a contractor may be a university that provides business development services, which is an activity you seek funding to develop a business case (Stream 1). In this example, this would be a project activity which you would demonstrate in your application, and not a project partner. It is advisable to research prices and/or seek quotes for work to support your application.
Can my co-contribution be made up of staff time and resourcing contributed to the project?
Yes, this is considered “in-kind contribution”. For Stream 1, this can be up to 50% of your co-contribution. For Stream 2, it can be up to 10%.
Can a single funding application include funding for multiple projects?
No, a funding application can only include funding for one project. However, the project can include multiple elements.
Can I apply for funding for the same project in more than one of Sustainability Victoria’s funding programs?
Applicants cannot be awarded funding for the same project in more than one of Sustainability Victoria’s funding programs. Each funding program has different objectives, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria and any application should be specific to the funding program applied for.
If an applicant fits the criteria and meets the objectives for more than one funding program then they can apply, but Sustainability Victoria would not award funding from two programs for the same project.
What other funding opportunities will be released by Sustainability Victoria soon?
There are multiple funding opportunities as part of the Recycling Victoria policy.
To be kept up to date on future funding rounds, or to find out more about eligibility, please visit Sustainability Victoria’s grants and funding webpage and register for grant updates.
Who can provide the project’s co-contribution?
The co-contribution can be provided by the lead applicant and/or project partners.
Will you consider funding projects requesting less than the minimum funding specified?
No. In this round of funds distribution, funding requests must be at the minimum amount specified.
The Fund will be open for up to three rounds or until the funding is fully subscribed or closed at the discretion of SV. The program’s merit criteria, eligibility, scope and budget allocation may vary from round to round.
Will SV fund the cost of a lease to land or premises for the purposes of my project?
No. See the sections 'What will be funded' and 'What will not be funded' in the 'Guidelines' tab above.
Will SV fund my staffing costs for those staff working on the project?
For this Fund, staff costs directly related to the project can be included in the total project costs.
How do I calculate the value of my staff time for the purposes of quantifying my co-contribution?
See the 'Guidelines' tab above for a definition of Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE) or the example budget table for further explanation.
Can we apply for funding for a project partly funded through another organisation?
No, if projects have received funding or support for the same activities from other sources – including projects that have been awarded funding by other Recycling Victoria programs administered by SV – then they are not eligible for funding. If a project is seeking funding for new activities not funded by other sources, these may be eligible.
Can funding be used to engage a consultancy to identify opportunities for our business?
Yes, consultancy fees are allowed as project activities. Additionally, a consultancy may apply as a lead applicant to support one or more businesses in identifying or implementing opportunities.
Is the funding mainly targeting the food industry or does it cover other industries?
No. The funding is not targeted at a single or specific industry, product or material. Food waste is in scope as are any other types of product or material waste, for example electronics, furniture and textiles.
Will operational or staff cost be recognised as in-kind contribution?
Staff costs directly associated with the project can be included as part of your in-kind co-contribution.
Does co-contribution of 2:1 mean we need to pay twice the amount of grant we receive, or the other way around?
For Stream 1, the funding ratio is 2:1. This means SV will provide $2 for every $1 provided by the applicant.
For Stream 2, the funding ratio is 1:1, which means the applicant must match funding dollar for dollar to either meet or exceed the grant amount.
Are these funding schemes applying a measurement and verification protocol that is internationally recognised?
No. If your project does align with an international measurement and verification protocol, this may form part of your application and be submitted as evidence to support the impact of your proposed project. Please see ’Definitions’ in the Guidelines for details on specific terms used in the Fund.
The grant allocations seem large (up to $1 million) in relation to the total fund amounts for the RV Business Support and Innovation Funds. Are you discouraging people from applying for the higher grant amounts?
This Fund is looking to support projects that will deliver significant benefits in Victoria. We understand these types of projects may be expensive and this is reflected in the value of the individual grants offered. As this is a competitive grant process, we will assess all applications for their merit and their value for money. We understand that sometimes a smaller project may have big impact.
For Stream 2 projects, grants over $500,000 must be for collaborative projects only and these projects could deliver benefits across multiple sites or businesses. We are seeking a spread of projects and locations (for example, metropolitan and regional locations) and this is outlined in our diversity criteria.
Can Sustainability Victoria fund projects that have started before a funding agreement is signed?
We cannot fund activities that have already been completed. If you have already started research and development and compiling evidence towards conducting the project then it would need to be clear how and why this work would be different to apply to this fund again. If you have completed your research and development, and you want to continue with further research, then this could be eligible for funding as a next step in your project, if it has not already started, has not been funded by another grant, and is otherwise eligible for funding.