1. Introduction

The State Government’s $1.25 million Renewable Technology Industry Development Program (RTIDP) seeks to support South Australian businesses to develop the necessary business and process capabilities to supply to the renewable energy industry and participate in large scale renewables projects within South Australia, nationally, and globally.

Building on the success of the Renewables Technology Fund, the renewables and energy storage sector represents a strong market opportunity for South Australian companies.

To access the program, eligible companies will need to submit an application that outlines a clear management strategy to help the business engage with large scale projects and increase their exposure to global renewable and energy storage supply chains. Applications will be verified through a business review process.

2. How to apply

Applicants are encouraged to read the guidelines before applying at www.innovation.sa.gov.au

Companies will need to submit:

  • A completed the online RTIDP application form
  • A business proposal that demonstrates:
    • the extent to which your project will increase the company’s capability and capacity to engage with large scale projects or participate in the global renewable and energy storage supply chain;
    • how the project will improve the efficiency and competitiveness of your business
    • the market opportunity the project will open in Australia and/or internationally
    • broader economic benefits for the project
    • project plan
    • project budget
  • Audited financial statements
  • Other supplemental documents to support the application.

Applications for the program will open as a single funding round. Applications are now open and close 5 pm (ACST) Friday 8 June 2018.

Depending on the number of applications received, an additional funding round may be conducted.

3. Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, an applicant must:

  • Be an entity incorporated in Australia with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Be non-tax exempt
  • Be a financially viable business providing renewable or energy storage technology, services or products with a majority of its business conducted in South Australia
  • Be able to demonstrate an existing industrial capability for the delivery of high-value products and services within the renewables or energy storage sector
  • Have been in operation for longer than 12 months
  • Have an annual turnover of at least $2 million in the last financial year
  • Be able to enter into a legally binding funding agreement with the South Australian Government
  • Agree, if selected, to undertake a business review from a Department of State Development (DSD) appointed reviewer
  • Be willing to provide information and data, including financial information as required
  • Be prepared to commit to Senior Executive or board level engagement towards business change
  • Submit a proposal that has been developed by the applicant focused on increasing market share and engagement with the renewables and energy storage supply chain.

4. Assessment

Completed RTIDP applications will be reviewed by an assessment panel based on the merits of the application and accompanying business proposal responding to eligibility criteria.

Shortlisted applicants will then move to the business review phase.

5. Business review

Shortlisted applicants will be required to undertake a fully funded business review to be carried out by an independent reviewer for the Department of State Development as part of a due diligence process.

The independent reviewer will work with applicants to perform a business review and identify whether the business improvement identified in the initial proposal will lead to increased capability and capacity to participate in large scale renewables projects.

Areas covered in the business review may include:

  • Assessing the company’s ability to supply into large scale renewable and energy storage projects
  • Identifying business and process improvements required to increase company’s ability to engage in the renewables and energy storage supply chain
  • Highlighting the potential for innovation within the business through addressing new capabilities, new markets and new customer offerings
  • The capacity and capability of the company to deliver a successful business outcome
  • Other related activities.

The review will cover aspects of the business such as processes, product offering, cost base, and market approach that may constrain the company’s ability to grow their business in servicing large scale renewable and energy storage projects.

Companies who undergo the business review are not guaranteed any funding under the implementation phase.

6. Implementation of business review recommendations

On completion of the independent business review, a report will be submitted to the assessment panel. The panel will evaluate shortlisted applications against the business review and put forward its recommendation to the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation.

At the panel’s discretion, applicants may be invited to submit an updated proposal based on business review outcomes or negotiate an implementation agreement with the company where the proposal has sufficient merit under the evaluation criteria.

Additional information may be requested as part of the application process.

a. Eligible Activities

  • Capital equipment to increase manufacturing capacity, quality or capability
  • Professional services that address specific issues, such as financial models, process change or legal advice
  • Specific marketing and business development activities, including the identification of distribution channels and pathways to market within the global renewables and energy storage sector
  • Productivity and process improvement activities
  • Skills training and development to implement a new business process or activity.

A single proposal may cover several of these areas.

b. Exclusions

  • Costs of routine business activities, such as (but not limited to):
    • Routine or seasonal marketing costs
    • Routine accounting costs, including the costs of audit certificates
    • Routine rental costs and expenses
    • Routine utility costs
    • Routine training costs
    • Travel expenses not directly related to the purpose
  • Working capital (e.g. stock, debtors, cashflow)
  • Payment of wages/salaries.

7. Evaluation criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following evaluation criteria:

  • The extent to which the project will increase the company’s competitiveness and capacity to service large scale projects or participate in the global renewable and energy storage supply chain
  • The capacity and capability of the organisation to successfully implement the changes in the independent business review
  • The alignment between the company proposal and the independent review
  • The value for money that grant funding the program would represent.

These criteria will be used for both the initial proposal and any revised proposal following the business review.

Applicants should note that irrespective of eligibility and merit, there is no guarantee that an offer of funding will be made.

Once all shortlisted applications have been evaluated against the business review, the panel will forward their funding recommendations to the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation.

Grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 will be provided on a competitive, 1:1 matched basis. Smaller grant amounts may be considered at the discretion of the assessment panel.

All applicants will receive written notification to confirm whether the application for funding has been successful or unsuccessful.

Successful applicants will enter a written funding agreement with the South Australian Government.

Final decisions on funding rest with the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation.

8. Grant agreements

Grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 will be payable under the implementation phase.

The program will contribute up to 50 per cent towards the eligible expenditure. For each dollar of grant funds provided, the applicant needs to contribute at least one dollar. In-kind activities cannot be included as part of the applicant’s co-contribution.

To receive grant funds, a successful applicant must enter into a written funding agreement with the South Australian Government. If a funding agreement has not been negotiated within 60 days, the grant offer will lapse.

Payment of grant funds will be made in accordance with agreed payment milestones as set out in the funding agreement, which will be negotiated upon an offer of grant. If agreed milestones are not met, the Government reserves the right to hold payments or terminate the funding agreement. A minimum of 10% of the project payment will not be paid until delivery of the final report.

Funding will only be provided for eligible activities undertaken after contract signature. Retrospective funding is not available.

9. Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to provide a final report upon project completion as well as a follow-up report 12 months later. The final report must include, but is not limited to:

  • Details of the expenditure incurred in relation to the business improvement activity
  • Provision of a grant acquittal form in relation to eligible expenditure.

The follow-up report must include:

  • A further update on project progress and impact e.g. business/contracts won as a result of the funding
  • Financial information such as turnover and number of employees.

Successful companies must agree to non-commercially sensitive details of their projects being used by the South Australian Government for promotional purposes. Any statements will be agreed upon with the business in advance. Additional reporting requirements may be negotiated as part of the funding agreement.

10. Confidentiality

Protecting participants’ confidential information is important to the Department of State Development.

Information provided by participants and third parties (as part of the independent business review)  will be considered confidential and treated as such by the Department of State Development. Confidential information will only be released with the participant’s agreement or when required by law.

All Department of State Development staff and any third parties from which advice is sought will be required to declare any conflict of interest before having access to confidential information. Assessment panel members will be required to sign confidentiality agreements and declare any conflicts of interest.

Contact

Stuart Hodge
Senior Project Officer
Department of State Development
Phone (08) 8204 1718
Email RTIDP@sa.gov.au