GRDC Innovation Program 2018
Creative thinkers across all industries encouraged to apply.
Funding applications for GRDC’s $5 million Innovation Program 2018 are now open.
The Program has two distinct components – one aimed at accelerating the development and commercialisation of innovative technologies, and the other aimed at supporting feasibility analysis of innovative business concepts.
GRDC’s Innovation Program 2018 aims to foster innovation and accelerate the commercial delivery of innovative technologies. We are committed to funding projects that have the greatest potential to deliver tangible value.
Applications under the Accelerating Innovative Technologies component of the Program are now being accepted, with applications under the Developing Innovative Businesses part of the Program to open shortly (more information will be provided then).
- Application Guidelines - Innovation Program Accelerating Innovative Technologies (PDF 235 KB)
- Schedule 1 Draft Funding Agreement - GRDC Innovation Program 2018 (PDF 276 KB)
- Attachment - Additional Response Form with deed - Innovation Program (DOCX 231 KB)
Please ensure that you have read and understand the Application Guidelines before continuing.
Accelerating Innovative Technologies funding round
Who can apply?
The GRDC Innovation Program 2018 is about new ways of thinking. Innovative ideas can come from all types of industry and organisations.
If you have a creative idea or novel technology solution, you are encouraged to apply – even if your concept is from a sector not traditionally associated with broadacre farming.
Under this component of the Program, funding amounts from $40,000 upwards can be sought. While any application will be considered, priority will be given to those that address three key areas:
- Novel engineering or chemical solutions to managing hostile soils in broad acre grains production
- Novel solutions for managing the impact of frost on broad acre grains production
- Novel non-chemical solutions to weed management and control in the Australian broad acre grains production
Support under the Accelerating Innovative Technologies funding round can range from help to develop a business case or proof of concept over a 3-6 month timeframe, through to longer 1-2 year project periods for activities such as pre-commercial testing or scale-up strategies.
When do applications close?
Applications under the Accelerating Innovative Technologies part of the Innovation Program 2018 close on Friday 6 April 2018.
Program applications will be assessed by GRDC via a rigorous multi-step process, conducted by teams with expertise and proven competency in the priority areas.
Please ensure that you have read and understand the Application Guidelines before continuing.
Questions about the Program
Applicants must email questions about the Accelerating Innovative Technologies funding round to the Grants Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will publish answers to questions for Applicant’s information on this page. Please note the deadline for submission of questions is 5pm (Canberra time) 29 March 2018.
Questions and Answers
Q1: So we’re clear regarding “Novel non-chemical solutions to weed management and control in Australian broadacre grains production”
This means applications for projects regarding shielded sprayers is not eligible?
A1: For guidance on the application process and information required, please refer to the Innovation Program Guidelines that can be downloaded on the GRDC website. The Innovation Program Guidelines include all details required to complete the application on the Grains Investment Portal. Once you have completed the Application in the Grains Investment Portal you can choose to save as draft, and print a copy prior to submission.
Q2: Would you please advise if the portal allows one to print out an uncompleted application form for use in planning and compiling an application rather than proceeding hand-to-mouth fashion through an unknown structure of the electronic application.
A2: For guidance on the application process and information required, please refer to the Innovation Program Guidelines that can be downloaded on the GRDC website. The Innovation Program Guidelines include all details required to complete the application on the Grains Investment Portal. Once you have completed the Application in the Grains Investment Portal you can choose to save as draft, and print a copy prior to submission.
Q3: "Can I submit an application from my lead organisation even though there are collaborators from other organisations in the proposal"?
Based on the guidelines, on page 18, under item 13.2 "Joint Applications" it says that "Except in relation to consortium applications submitted in accordance with paragraph 3.5, GRDC will not consider joint Applications, or Applications with multiple Applicants".
However, It seems to be able to do so through contracting or a consortium Under item 2.2 " What can funding be used for" and Item 3 "Mandatory requirements", in particular 3.5
A3: GRDC will only consider one application for funding, however the lead organisation can identify collaborators in their submission as either part of a consortium or as subcontractors.
Q4: Can the applicant be the person employed on the project to do the work and receive salary through this scheme?
A4: No, the Applicant will be the organisation who can employs the key personnel/project leads. The organisation can then use the funding to pay for the salaries of those directly involved in the project.
Q5: The guidelines state the following criteria:
- an Applicant must be single legal entity that is capable of entering into a Funding Agreement with GRDC;
- an Applicant has an ABN
- Applicants can only submit one Application. If an Applicant submits more than one Application, GRDC will only assess the Application that was submitted last on the Grains Investment Portal and set aside any earlier submitted Applications.
Does this mean that an Organisation is the Applicant, and not the Project Leader, and that the Organisation as a whole (the legal entity) is limited to only submit one application?
A5: The legal entity will be the Applicant and can only submit one application. A project leader, who is an employee of the legal entity, will be identified as key personnel in the funding agreement. The project leader is not the Applicant.
Q6: I was hoping the technology might be seen as a derivative of the non chemical weed control priority, and therefore receive a greater ranking. Could you enquire as to how this would be judged?
A6: All applications will be assessed on their fit against priority areas and the individual responses to the selection criteria in the support of the application.
Q7: How stringent do you think the priority 3 will be on non chemical solutions? Would reduction of chemical solutions make it through?
A7: The basic principle is that we can accept applications more broadly, but priority will be given to the named areas.
Q8: We are currently looking at submitting an application through the online portal and as this is my first time doing this I have a couple of questions.
For Service Provider details it shows an email address for ‘Email for Remittance Advice’ – what does this mean and how can the details be amended if required?
For the organisation email there are no details – what is inputted there?
A8: The field requiring email for remittance advice identifies where the remittance advice is to get sent to, i.e. the finance/accounts team. Post application, this field can only be edited by GRDC as applicants are unable to amend their details in the portal. The field requiring organisation email allows for a generic administrative email to be included for the organisation, which is usually different to the remittance advice email. Post application, this field can only be edited by GRDC as applicants are unable to amend their details in the portal.
Q9: We were intending to apply for an innovation grant in the context of a project for which we have had some favourable preliminary results. What is the position in relation to Intellectual Property (IP)? The application guidelines (sections 2.1(h) and (i)) state that IP vests in the applicant. However, the IP ownership clause in the draft funding agreement provides at clause 9.2 (c) that the GRDC is provided with “a permanent, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, non-exclusive licence (including a right of sub-licence) to use, reproduce, exploit, communicate, adapt and distribute the Agreement Material for any purpose”.
Can you confirm that IP is able to be negotiated at the agreement stage if the application is successful? Can other terms be negotiated e.g. specific reimbursement per volume of product sold? Can a coded treatment where the composition is not declared comply with the Guidelines?
A9: GRDC’s position is that the IP in the Agreement material (i.e. generated under the agreement from the project funding) vests in the Recipient of the funding (see clause 9.2(a) of the draft funding agreement ). In most cases, GRDC will need a broad licence to assist the funding recipient to utilise the IP or to assist GRDC with its current priorities and projects. However, GRDC is open to negotiate the IP clause with a funding Recipient, depending upon the circumstances (particularly if there is IP in existing material) and how well developed the IP is in the project.
Other specific terms can also be negotiated e.g. royalties, reimbursement or other commercialisation considerations. If the IP in some components are not clear, GRDC reserves the right not to progress these applications (section 2.1(d)), this will be reviewed at the assessment of the application.
Q10: As a research fellow at a research organisation, who is considered the Applicant - the research organisation or the research fellow? How many applications can be submitted?
Can an applicant collaborate on more than one application?
A10: GRDC will only consider one application for funding from an applicant, which in this case will be a research organisation, and the research fellow will be identified as key personnel. The lead organisation can identify collaborators in their submission as either part of a consortium or as subcontractors, which can be drafted into a funding agreement if the application is successful.
Q11: Is it necessary for the innovation to make money for GRDC or can it instead be a readily implemented novel cultural practice for which farmers can achieve a high benefit /cost ratio?
A11: GRDC will consider all applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria, and that can enhance the enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
Q12: In response to Question & Answer 5 of this program, does this mean that an Organisation is the Applicant, and not the Project Leader, and that the Organisation as a whole (the legal entity) is limited to only submit one application? Could you please provide clarification on this point?
A12: Please note the answers to Questions 5 & 10 above.
The Organisation is the Applicant as the single legal entity. The Organisation may only submit one application. The Project Leader may then be employed/subcontracted or otherwise engaged by an Organisation to conduct the Project.
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