Infrastructure Grants 2017 PROC-9175188


Grant Application Description

Infrastructure Grants 2017 - GRDC seeks Applications for grants for funding the acquisition or construction of infrastructure to facilitate grains research and development. The infrastructure project must be ready to commence construction on or before 31 October 2017.


Note: the Request for Tender (RFT) Terms and Conditions do not apply to these Applications. The Application Guidelines apply instead.

Release Date

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Closing Time

5pm ACT local time, Wednesday 17 May 2017

Deadline for submission of Application enquiries

5pm ACT local time, Monday 8 May 2017

Document Contact and Enquiries

Attention: Grants Manager

Grains Research and Development Corporation

Email: tenders@grdc.com.au

Electronic Lodgement of Applications

Applicants must submit their responses electronically through the Grains Investment Portal at https://access.grdc.com.au


Please note that because the Grains Investment Portal is designed for research and development investments using the standard Research Agreement a number of fields will not be relevant for this Infrastructure Grant Application. Please see instructions below for how to respond to these fields.


GRDC’s purpose is to invest in research, development and extension that creates enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.  To help deliver on its purpose GRDC seeks Applications for grants for funding the acquisition or construction of infrastructure to facilitate grains research and development.


GRDC invites Applications from Applicants with planned projects which have all relevant approvals in place at the date of the Application or in sufficient time to enable commencement of construction by 31 October 2017.  GRDC's preference is for projects that are at a stage whereby construction of the infrastructure works can commence on or before 30 June 2017.


The total amount of funding available for this Process is $15 million. To participate in this Process, Applicants must seek funding in an amount that is between $20,000 and $3 million. This is an open, competitive grants process and not all Applicants may be awarded funding.


Funding can be used for the construction of new, or enhancement of existing, infrastructure primarily used for research and development in the grains industry in Australia. Examples of what funding can be used for include but are not limited to building:


  1. glasshouses;
  2. greenhouses;
  3. irrigation works;
  4. new laboratories;
  5. new sheds; and
  6. silos.

Funding may be also used for:


  1. procuring building materials and services associated with the infrastructure's construction;
  2. purchasing plant, equipment or fittings that are permanently fixed to, or form part of the infrastructure and cannot be easily severed from the infrastructure (for example, pipes, drains and ICT cabling);
  3. plant and equipment hire associated with the infrastructure's construction; and
  4. external consulting or contractor costs directly related to the delivery of construction.

GRDC requires that an Applicant contributes to the Project either itself or through other third party contributions (eg local government or non-government organisation support) (Co-Contribution).  The amount of the Co-Contribution must be equal to or greater than 10% of the funding that is sought in the Applicant's Application.


Application period


The Closing Time for Applications is 5pm ACT local time on Wednesday 17 May 2017 as advised on the Grains Investment Portal and all Applications must be submitted via the portal prior to this Closing Time in order to be considered.


All requests for further information or clarification in relation to this Application process should be made in writing to tenders@grdc.com.au prior to 5pm ACT local time on Monday 8 May 2017. Requests and responses to requests may be published on the GRDC website.


Eligibility Criteria


The Eligibility Criteria are:


  1. an Applicant must be single legal entity that is capable of entering into a Funding Agreement with GRDC;
  2. an Applicant has an ABN;
  3. the Project is located in Australia;
  4. an Application must be for funding for new, or an enhancement of existing, infrastructure  that will primarily be used for grains research and development in Australia;
  5. the amount of funding sought in an Application must be equal to or greater than $20,000 and no more than $3 million;
  6. the Applicant must be co-contributing to the Project, either itself or through a third party, and that contribution must be equal to or greater than 10% of the funding sought in the Application; and
  7. the construction of the infrastructure must be capable of commencement on or before 31 October 2017.

Selection Criteria


  1. Need and benefit of the infrastructure:

    1. the extent to which the infrastructure is needed to facilitate grains research and development in Australia;
    2. the extent to which the infrastructure will enhance and support the delivery of grains research and development in Australia;
    3. the accessibility of the infrastructure to  grains research and development providers in Australia in addition to the Applicant; and
    4. the period during which the infrastructure will support grains research and development in Australia.
  2. Readiness of the Project:

    1. the identification of all relevant approvals or consent and status of same; and
    2. demonstration that the Project has been fully scoped, having regard to any plans, drawings or similar information described in the Application.
  3. The Project's methodology:

    1. the estimated start and completion date for the construction or installation of the Project;
    2. the approach to managing any unforeseen delays in construction activities (eg inclement weather);
    3. the approach to procuring any materials or services needed to complete the Project;
    4. the extent of obligations owed to Co-Contributors and how the Applicant will manage Co-Contributor relations and expectations;
    5. the extent to which the methodology indicates that the intended outcomes will be achieved; and
    6. details of the planned asset maintenance after completion, including how maintenance of the asset will be funded for its useful life.
  4. The Applicant's capability:

    1. Applicant's track record in delivering projects similar to the Project; and
    2. Applicant's track record in relation to grants received from GRDC or Commonwealth entities;
  5. Reasonableness of funding:

    1. the amount of funding requested having regard to the actual cost of the Project;
    2. how the funding is intended to be applied between infrastructure (or associated plant and equipment) and other costs, such as the costs of services and plant and equipment hire.
    3. assumptions underlying the amount of funding requested; and
    4. the amount of Co-Contributions;

GRDC will also assess each Application for risk using the responses in the Additional Response Form including an assessment of:


  1. the extent to which the Applicant complies with the Draft Funding Agreement;
  2. the extent to which the Applicant hold or will hold the level of insurances required under the Draft Funding Agreement;
  3. financial viability of the Applicant;
  4. health, safety and environmental risks and the Applicant's approach to mitigating the same;
  5. the extent to which relevant stakeholders (eg environmental, community and industry groups) have been consulted or are likely to oppose the Project; and
  6. any Conflicts of Interest

Applying


Applying for GRDC investments is now done using the GRDC Grains Investment Portal.  Once registered, users can visit the Grains Investment Portal anytime.


To register as a user, please visit https://access.grdc.com.au/ and follow the instructions below:


  • click on the 'register' button at the top right hand side;
  • complete the Registration Form.  Fill in all the fields: your email address, a password and the captcha. Your password must be alphanumeric with at least one special character (i.e. not a letter or number); and
  • click register to continue the process.

Registration is confirmed by the system sending an email to the user, with details to complete the registration process.  Once the registration process is complete, the user can sign in and review all open opportunities for tenders and grants.


Once an Applicant has located this Application process on the Grains Investment Portal, it can commence its Application by completing the details for each field available, until you reach “Submit Application” on the last page.


A number of fields that are usually required in the Portal are not applicable to this Process. Please respond to these fields as set out in the table below. Where similar information is requested in the Selection Criteria or the Additional Response Form the information must be supplied in that response.

Field in Grains Investment Portal

Insert as Response

Output 1

Complies

Contract Summary

N/A

Keywords

N/A

Contract Rationale

N/A

Capability Statement

N/A

Methodology

N/A

Dissemination Process

N/A

Contract Personnel

N/A

Subcontractors

N/A

Intellectual Property & Commercialisation

N/A

Contract Budget

$ the amount of the grant application

Risk Management

N/A

Track Record

N/A


If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the Grants Manager via email tenders@grdc.com.au or use the online support function available.


Application evaluation


Applications will be considered by an evaluation committee and then a moderation panel, as outlined in the Application Guidelines. .


Questions and Answers:




Q1:
The Application Guidelines note that "Applicants can only submit one Application" and that "an Applicant must be single legal entity". Does this mean that an organisation, including a university, can only submit one application under this scheme?

A1: Yes an organisation may only submit one application




Q2: Could you please comment on whether the following proposal fits the GRDC's eligibility criteria for applications?


A2: No. GRDC is unable to review and provide comments on whether or not an application satisfies the eligibility criteria. Applicants should read the application guidelines thoroughly to assess the suitability of their proposal against the eligibility criteria. GRDC refers applicants to sections 2 and 6 of the application guidelines.




Q3: We are an applicant that is comfortable with most of the terms and conditions of the proposed funding agreement except for certain provisions. How do we convey this to GRDC?

A3: Any requested changes from the proposed Funding Agreement are required to be specified in the Statement of Compliance that appears in the Additional Response Forms. In addition, reasons or requested changes should be noted in the designated area in the Statement of Compliance.


GRDC will consider all requested changes as part of evaluating Applications.




Q4: Section 2.3 of the Application Guidelines provides that funding cannot be used for the purchase of loose items of plant, equipment or goods that:


  1. are not affixed to the infrastructure; and/or
  2. can be easily severed or separated from the infrastructure.

Can you give examples of these "loose items of plant, equipment or goods"? Can you also give examples of equipment that can be purchased with the funding?


A4: Examples of plant and equipment that cannot be purchased with the funding include computers, harvesters, plot seeders, drones, spray booms, seed cleaners, trailers, packing crates.


Plant and equipment that is permanently fixed to or forms part of the infrastructure and cannot be easily detached and used independently can be purchased with the funding. Examples may include racking for a seed store or storage shed, ventilation or dust extraction for shed or workspace, grain dryer, ICT cabling for a laboratory.




Q5: Please clarify what constitutes commencement of construction


A5: When physical work of a significant nature occurs on the site for the project or off-site for construction of the components used in the project. The purchase of materials or the engagement of a consultant does not constitute commencement of construction.




Q6: When does a successful project need to be completed by? Are there limitation on when the infrastructure needs to be operational by or when funds need to be expended?

A6: There is no prescribed date by which all projects must be completed. This will be negotiated on a case by case for successful applications, based on the details contained in an Applicant's response, such as  an Applicant's response to criterion 3 'The Project's methodology'. The funding agreement awarded to successful Applicants will contain an obligation to complete by a specified date.




Q7: Clause 2.3(l) of the Application Guidelines states that GRDC funding cannot be used for the purpose of loose items of plant, equipment or goods. Can a Co-Contribution to the Project be for those items if they would make the facility functional?


A7: Yes. A Co-Contribution can be applied towards loose items of plant, equipment or goods that are part of the relevant project and make the facility functional.




Q8: If the Project is for the enhancement of existing infrastructure, can the value of the current infrastructure be counted towards the minimum amount of the Co-Contribution?

A8: No. A Co-Contribution towards the enhancement costs will be required.




Q9: Can a proposed infrastructure proposal have various components?

A9: This question is not clear.


GRDC notes that a proposed project may comprise components that are eligible for funding and components that are not eligible for funding.  Funding can only be sought, and will only be awarded for, components that satisfy the requirements of section 2.2.


GRDC also notes that a proposed project may comprise more than one component of infrastructure works.  Applications involving such proposed projects should contain sufficient information to enable GRDC to understand the nexus between each component of the infrastructure works.




Q10: Are an organisation's Co-Contributions to be considered as eligible or ineligible based on the same guidelines as outlined in sections 2.2 and 2.3 in terms of GRDC's funds?

A10: A Co-Contribution must be applied to a component of the Project. A Co-Contribution does not have to be applied to a component that is eligible for funding. However, GRDC will consider how a Co-Contribution is applied as part of the detailed assessment of an Application.  It is a matter for Applicants to structure their Co-Contributions to assist in demonstrating that their Application represents a value with relevant money proposal.




Q11: We are considering submitting a proposal with multiple parts at different locations. We note that construction must commence by October 31. Does this mean that construction at each site must commence by that date, or is it acceptable that construction commences at one site by October 31, with the others commencing at a later date?


A11: An Applicant may only submit one application. An application containing a proposal with multiple parts at different locations is not acceptable if in effect it amounts to multiple applications. A proposal with multiple parts at different locations will need to demonstrate the nexus between the multiple parts to show that it is in fact a single proposal and not separate applications.


If a proposal has different locations it is acceptable for construction to only commence at one site by 31 October 2017 on the basis that the different locations form part of a cohesive proposal and therefore commencement on one site is commencement of the whole proposal.


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